Report for America announced today that applications are now open for news organizations interested in hosting journalists in 2020-2021.
A new corps of journalists will join newsrooms across the country in June 2020. If a news organization is selected and a corps member is placed in their newsroom, Report for America pays half the salary for an entry level position, up to $20,000. The other half is split between the news organization and local donors. RFA also provides extensive training and support for these journalists throughout the year.
The application deadline is September 30. More information about how the program works can be found here.
Some 50 local news organizations—newspapers, digital-only news outlets, radio stations and a TV station, nonprofit and commercial organizations—participate in the program now, sponsoring 61 journalists through Report for America. (Some news outlets sponsor more than one corps member.) Next year, we aim to place 250 emerging journalists in U.S. local newsrooms.
All news organizations are eligible to apply. The application asks newsrooms to identify specific gaps in their coverage, drawing attention to under-covered communities or issues. And it requires applicants to craft a beat that would seek to address those gaps.
Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project.
Reporters in the program have already had a big impact on communities, newsrooms say.
Chris Cobler, editor and publisher of the Victoria (TX) Advocate, has this to say about Corps member Ciara McCarthy:
“Ciara hit the ground running from the moment she entered the newsroom. Because she was so thoroughly vetted by Report for America, she was the perfect fit for the Advocate,” he says. “She’s born to do community journalism and brings a smart, insightful eye to local government…We can’t wait to see what Ciara will make happen for our community in the months ahead.”
Ken Ward Jr., MacArthur Fellow and reporter for the Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail, says this of Report for America corps member Amelia Ferrell Knisely, who has returned to her home state to report for that paper. “I can’t tell you how happy I am. have watched the brain drain in West Virginia for years—really smart people leaving. This program has brought someone talented back to West Virginia.”
About Report for America: Report for America is a national service program that places talented emerging journalists in local news rooms to report on under-covered topics and communities.
Launched in 2017 and donor-financed, Report for America is creating a new, sustainable system that provides Americans with the information they need to improve their communities, hold powerful institutions accountable, and rebuild trust in the media. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project.
About The GroundTruth Project: The GroundTruth Project is a Boston-based, independent, non-partisan, non-profit news organization dedicated to supporting the next generation of journalists in the US and around the world. In the last five years, GroundTruth has supported 150 reporting fellowships as far away as Myanmar, Egypt and Somalia and as close to home as Kentucky, Minnesota, and Montana. Report for America is the organization’s newest initiative.