Civic Engagement Reporter

About The Houston Local News Initiative

The Houston Local News Initiative (“HLNI”) is growing our team of passionate people on a mission to advance democracy in our communities and strengthen the lives of all Houstonians one story at a time. HLNI is launching soon as an independent, non-profit digital news operation that will cover a broad range of topics serving the Greater Houston community. HLNI is initially supported by a coalition of three of Houston’s leading philanthropies including Arnold Ventures, The Houston Endowment and the Kinder Foundation.

At HLNI, we are expanding our newsroom team to include a civic engagement reporter responsible for producing important, timely and engaging content that helps people become more informed about how things work so they can take action that helps them and their communities.

We will consider applications on an ongoing basis, but we encourage those who are interested to apply ASAP.

The Role

What you’ll do:

  • The civic engagement reporter will create guides, explainers and other service journalism that develops reporting from topics such as government, education, economics and social services into content that helps people better understand the context and the effects of the news.
  • You will help build a library of utility content in accessible formats that helps people navigate systems and become more engaged and active in their communities and their daily lives.
  • You will work with reporters and editors across the newsroom to identify service angles for their stories, produce a steady stream of service content, and create and manage systems to keep service content up-to-date. We want our newsroom to be a reliable source for how to do things in the Houston region.
  • You’ll be immersed in the community, routinely attending gatherings, townhalls and other types of events to find sources and story ideas.
  • You will align your beat coverage around one of our key pillars: producing stories that offer solutions and improve civic engagement.
  • You will ensure your reporting prioritizes community information needs and includes diverse perspectives.
  • You’ll work with your editor and the audience team to promote a social media strategy and figure out how best to reach our key audiences.

Who you are

  • You have two or more years of journalism experience.
  • You have experience using multiple digital platforms to tell a story.
  • You have a flexible attitude that allows you to thrive at a digital startup and think creatively.
  • You are a curious, organized person who is always on the lookout for good story ideas and who knows how to stay on task to make those stories a reality.
  • You are committed to our mission of finding a new path for quality journalism.
  • You have a collaborative spirit, strong communication skills and a willingness to listen to diverse perspectives.
  • You love helping people solve problems.
  • You’re committed to accuracy and meeting deadlines.
Our Values

EXCELLENCE: We wake up every day with the intent to be the best at what we do. We hustle. We have grit. When we make mistakes, we’ll learn from them.

INCLUSION: We aren’t all the same, and those differences are what make us better. We’ll respect each person’s uniqueness. Perspective, context and life experiences help us to tell the story.

AMBITION: We will be bold and creative, open to all ideas big or small. We really mean it.

FUN: We are not making widgets, although there is nothing wrong with widgets. We tell stories - and stories are often fun, so we believe in having lots of fun.

COLLABORATION: We are all in this together. We may not always agree, but we will listen to each other and communicate candidly and respectfully.


Compensation and Benefits
  • Compensation commensurate with experience
  • 401(k)
  • Healthcare 100% premium paid for employee and 50% for dependents
  • 20 vacation days
  • Ten sick days
  • Generous paid maternity leave 
  • Hybrid work policy (initially we all work together to build culture)
  • Stipend for development / learning

We’re committed to building an inclusive organization that represents the people and communities we serve. We encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, veterans, LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities.

Apply using the form below