Houston Chronicle seeks a wealth and power reporter

June 6, 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 wealth and power in Houston. From oil and gas executives to lawyers, real estate developers and retail moguls, much of the wealth in Houston operates quietly, behind the scenes. But with that wealth comes a great deal of clout – in business to be sure, but also in politics, civic life and the city’s social and arts scene. The wealth and power reporter will dig into who wields this power, get behind the deals and track their investments, donations and corporate comings and goings.

What will you do?

  • Identify and relentlessly track the larger-than-life characters, heads of business and cultural leaders who the Houston-area audience can’t take their eyes off. This beat melds business, politics and, to a degree, even sports and entertainment
  • This beat demands a tough-minded journalist who understands that Houstonians are genuinely interested in how these people drive change and help shape communities
  • Tell human stories, either about the individuals themselves – or the people who are affected by their decisions
  • Use public records (IRS Form 990s, SEC filings, and others) to tell surprising and illuminating stories of these characters in ways that might differ from their public personas and/or public relations efforts
  • During campaign season, assist the Politics & Government Team in covering the power elite’s role in the political process, if applicable
  • Break news about these characters, but also demonstrates the ability to think expansively and ambitiously about how to frame them in terms of what’s coming, what’s next, what challenges they face
  • Think differently about the traditional approach to business and wealth 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?

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 Houston and Harris County 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 personality-driven reporting must itself have personality. This can be a storytelling beat on one day and a hard-news beat the next
  • Familiarity with SEC filings, IRS 990 forms is a plus
  • 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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