Public Education Reporter

The Texas Tribune

Austin, Texas

Date Posted February 06, 2024
Industry Digital Media
Specialty Not Specified
Required Education Bachelor's Degree
Telecommute? Hybrid
Job Status Full-time

Description:

The Texas Tribune is looking for a thoughtful, ambitious and audience-centric K-12 reporter to join its growing education team and cover one of the most important beats in the state. 

K-12 education in Texas is at a transformational crossroads. Top elected officials are pushing for transformational changes to how we fund schools, schools aren’t preparing graduates for the workforce, educators are struggling with rising costs of living, and schools and school boards have become volatile political and cultural battlegrounds. The Tribune's public education reporter will be expected to closely work with the Tribune’s other education reporters to probe inequities in the system and the state’s responsibility in preparing Texas’ children for a fulfilling future.

The position will require versatility. The ideal candidate will demonstrate a clear vision of how statewide trends fit with the experiences of children, parents, teachers and their communities. The reporter will be expected to act urgently during breaking news, as well as produce insightful analysis and compelling enterprise stories. The reporter will need a good nose for news, an inclination for field work and a knack for source building. The ideal candidate will be driven to dive into data for trends and insights, experiment with new formats, and collaborate with our award-winning photo, data visuals, and audience teams to produce high-quality journalism that meets Texans’ informational needs.

The job will include keeping a vigilant eye on the evolving role of state entities like the Texas Education Agency and the State Board of Education. While there are big-city districts that naturally demand attention because of their size, the K-12 reporter must keep a close eye on what is happening in smaller and rural districts across the state. The job requires a keen eye on education issues during the biennial sessions of the Texas Legislature and in races for state and federal elected offices.

Responsibilities

  • Identifying and pitching breaking news, features and explainers 
  • Writing and updating stories on the news of the day
  • Collaborating with other journalists across departments and formats for various assignments
  • Moderating panel discussions and representing the Tribune at Tribune events
  • Occasional travel and work on nights, weekends and holidays

We know there are great candidates who won’t check all of these boxes, and we know you might bring important skills that we haven’t considered. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself.

Qualifications

  • At least three years of journalism experience preferred 
  • An ability to break down complicated education policy
  • Terrific news judgment
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines
  • A passion and talent for jumping on breaking news
  • Impeccable reporting, fact-checking and writing skills
  • Experience reporting with data and spreadsheets
  • A strong familiarity with journalistic ethics and libel law
  • A desire and ability to collaborate with other colleagues
  • Spanish language proficiency preferred

How to Apply

Submit your application by Feb. 29. We can't wait to hear from you.

This is a full-time, exempt position with the following Texas Tribune benefits:

  • downtown office with paid parking or commuting stipend
  • medical, vision and dental insurance
  • cell phone stipend
  • 20 days of paid time off each year
  • 16 weeks of paid family leave
  • 401(k) matching
  • support for professional training and attending industry conferences

Pay will be determined based on the experience of the applicant. The minimum salary for this position is $58,000.

The Tribune’s newsroom is in Austin, but we are open to a reporter who is based elsewhere in the state. Any reporter hired for this position will be expected to travel for stories and spend time at the Capitol during legislative sessions.  

About The Texas Tribune

Here’s what you should know about the Tribune. From day one, we’ve had disruption, innovation and risk-taking in our DNA. We’re ambitious as all get out but still have the punch-above-your-weight mentality of a scrappy start-up. We believe we can meet the demands of our audience and our own expectations for excellence without breaking the bank — or our staff. We understand not everything is a story for us — we have to make choices — but we’re always looking to expand our boundaries. We’re nonprofit because the challenging economic reality for media these days obligates us to find a different way, reliable and sustainable, to fund serious journalism. We’re nonpartisan because we live in the United States of Confirmation Bias — and we don’t need to be part of the problem. We don’t need to be yet another source of information affirming the voices and perspectives that are already in people’s heads. At the same time, nonpartisan is not non-thinking. We call B.S. when B.S. needs to be called.

All of us at the Trib believe the best way to achieve that mission is to resemble the state we cover. We’re committed to building an inclusive newsroom for people of all backgrounds and ages, and we’re taking steps to meet that commitment. We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply for this role, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities. Learn more about The Texas Tribune here.