Harris County and Neighborhoods 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 reporter responsible for telling important, timely and engaging stories about Harris County’s government and how its decisions affect everyday residents.

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 cover important and interesting news that emerges from one of the most critical beats in Texas. If it was a state, Harris County would be the 25th largest in the country. 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 supervisors will decide which format fits each story best.
  • You’ll routinely attend county commissioner meetings, townhalls and other types of events to find sources and story ideas. You’ll visit neighborhoods and find stories about people who are affected by the decisions made in these meetings.
  • 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 five or more years of journalism experience with a track record of doing enterprise and accountability reporting.
  • 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’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