ProPublica and The Texas Tribune are creating a joint investigative unit based in Austin to cover important accountability stories throughout the state. And we’re looking for a data reporter to join the team.
The investigative unit will not cover the day-to-day news or the tick-tock of policy battles. Instead, we will focus on big stories — stories with the potential to spur real-world change. We’ll chronicle gaps in oversight, abuses of power, conflicts of interest and betrayals of the public trust. We’ll hold the powerful accountable on behalf of Texans.
As part of a joint project, the data reporter will have an opportunity to work and grow with two award-winning teams. They’ll be part of the Tribune’s data visuals team, and they’ll also work closely with ProPublica’s data and news apps teams.
What both teams have in common is a devotion to digging for the truth.
We’re looking for a data reporter who will:
- Plan and execute quantitative analyses — and interpret results — in support of investigative stories and visualizations
- Make phone calls, conduct interviews and do on-the-ground reporting
- Assist fellow reporters with data brainstorming, acquisition, cleaning, integrity-checking and analysis
- Bulletproof and spot-check data work done by other journalists on the team
- Wrangle data, including FOIAing for it, scraping it, cleaning it, analyzing it and preparing it for publication
- Teach and encourage best practices and newsroom data policies
The ideal candidate will have:
- Experience working on data projects in a newsroom or experience doing statistical or data-scientific analysis, either in academia or in another research setting
- Excellent interpersonal skills, good judgment and the ability to write quickly and cleanly
- The ability to approach problems with a combination of analytical smarts and journalistic rigor
- A solid understanding of the tools of data analysis, such as R, Python (pandas, numpy, etc.), database management systems (SQL Server, PostgreSQL, etc.), Microsoft Excel and so on. Proficiency in one tool is a must; being comfortable with others is an advantage.
A bachelor’s degree is required. A degree in journalism or a quantitative field is a plus.
We know there are great candidates who won’t fit everything we’ve described above, or who have important skills we haven’t thought of. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself.
ProPublica and the Tribune are dedicated to improving our newsrooms, in part by better reflecting the people we cover. (Here is a breakdown of the ProPublica staff; you can see the Tribune’s here.) Our newsrooms are committed to diversity and building an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and ages. And we are taking steps to meet that commitment. We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.
If all of this sounds exciting to you, apply using this form. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Central on Friday, Dec. 13.
The job is full time and includes benefits. This reporter will be on the Texas Tribune payroll but will work with and for editors and staffers at both news organizations. The job is based in the Tribune newsroom in Austin, and it reports to Darla Cameron, the data visuals editor at the Tribune. We are not considering remote applicants for this position.
Want to know about other jobs at ProPublica? We have them.
If this job doesn’t sound right for you, we may have others that are. We are hiring. Here is where we list all of our jobs, and where you can sign up to be notified when there is an opening. Here are the various fellowships we offer for promising journalists who typically have less experience.