Houston Chronicle seeks an energy and power grid reporter

July 28, 2023

Posted by Chris Roush

The Houston Chronicle – named the state’s best news organization by the Texas Managing Editors five years running – is seeking a versatile reporter to tell the stories of the power grid in Texas. It is a beat that covers the legislative process, development and innovation in the renewables sector, and the retail power market. The successful candidate will write with insight about the workers on the front lines of power generation, the executives and legislators whose decisions impact millions, and the consumers whose lives are affected by how electricity is delivered to them and at what cost.

What will you do?

  • Identify and relentlessly track the larger-than-life characters, heads of business and political leaders whose actions affect every residence and business in Texas.
  • Tell human stories, either about the individuals themselves – or the people who are affected by their decisions
  • Use public records (SEC filings, legislative records and others) to tell surprising and illuminating stories of these players in ways that enlighten readers
  • Break news, but also think expansively and ambitiously about how to frame the state’s grid in terms of what’s coming, what’s next, what challenges the industry and the nation face when addressing extreme weather, renewable energy and other innovations.
  • Think differently about the traditional approach to reporting, e.g. what was once a story could now be an interactive graphic or searchable database
  • Work collaboratively with other Chronicle team leaders, the visual team, the data team and the audience team to bring stories to life

What will it take to be successful?

This beat demands a tough-minded journalist who understands that Texans are both befuddled by the grid and genuinely interested in how the people who set policy and generate and deliver power shape communities. We want this reporter to understand that a mix of stories – short, long, data-driven — drives awareness of one’s byline, which drives tips and source building, which drives deeper reporting. We’re looking for:

  • Someone who has at least five years’ experience as a beat, business or investigative reporter. Knowledge of the Texas grid and electricity market is strongly preferred, but not required if the individual shows a proven track record of digging up – and producing – stories in other markets
  • Someone who understands that the beat can be a storytelling beat on one day and a hard-news beat the next
  • Someone who can juggle daily stories with short- and long-term enterprise, as well as alternative story formats
  • Someone familiar with best practices on social media, knowing that this is key to getting eyeballs on great journalism
  • Someone who can get everyone to talk to them. We need a reporter who knows how to cultivate sources.

We understand this is unique role for a regional news organization. When applying, please include a cover letter, resume and up to seven clips that show your ability to do as much of the above as possible.

To apply, go here.

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