Government and Neighborhoods Team Leader

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 an editor responsible for overseeing a team of reporters who cover neighborhoods and politics; city and county governments; and Houston’s rapidly growing suburbs.

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

The Role

What you’ll do:

  • You’ll work closely with reporters to cover important and interesting news that emerges from some of the most important, urgent and competitive beats in Texas. These stories will range from compelling breaking news that needs to be written quickly to enterprise or feature stories that might take a week or more of reporting.
  • You’ll work with members of the newsroom to adeptly tell these stories in a variety of ways — traditional articles, videos, photo slideshows and online interactives. You and your team will decide which format fits each story best.
  • You’ll ensure that your team’s reporters are immersed in the community, routinely attending gatherings, townhalls and other types of events to find sources and story ideas. HLNI will also hold events to spread the word about our site.
  • You will align your team’s coverage around one of our key pillars: producing stories that offer solutions and improve civic engagement.
  • You will ensure your team’s reporting prioritizes community information needs and includes diverse perspectives.
  • You will edit stories so they read beautifully, clearly and concisely.
  • You’ll work with your team and other members of the newsroom to promote a social media strategy and figure out how best to reach our key audiences.

Who you are

  • You have 10 or more years of journalism experience with a track record of high-impact journalism. You have five years experience as an editor, helping reporters produce significant enterprise and accountability journalism.
  • You have experience using multiple digital platforms to tell a story.
  • You know how to coach reporters so their reporting and writing improves every day.
  • You have strong news judgment but understand that our audience’s needs are diverse. They might not be accustomed to reading a traditional news story, and we have to find other ways to reach them and listen to them.
  • 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’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