Boston, MA, January 17 — Report for America, a national service program that places talented emerging journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities announced today the newsrooms that will host Report for America corps member starting in June 2019.
To win the right to host one or more reporters, each news organization had to demonstrate that there is a civically-important gap in coverage and that they have a strong plan to deploy new reporting resources in the public interest. Some focused on geographic gaps, and others on coverage of particular issues or communities.
Among Report for America’s 2019 news organizations, spanning 26 states and territories, were Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, a respected nonprofit watchdog group in Puerto Rico, the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead in North Dakota, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Cincinnati Enquirer and Associated Press. Among the 50 reporting positions (new and renewals) in the 2019 corps, announced today, 18 will be placed in non-profit organizations, 3 in weeklies, 7 in public radio stations and more than two dozen in newspapers. Additional news organizations and reporting positions will be announced in the coming weeks, bringing the total number of corps members to 60 in 2019. Full details here.
The new positions include:
- Associated Press (Connecticut, New York) — Statehouse coverage for Connecticut and New York, focused on criminal justice and mental health issues
- Block Club Chicago (Illinois) — Covering the Austin and North Lawndale neighborhoods on the West Side of Chicago
- Buffalo Bulletin (Wyoming) — The local energy production industry in Johnson County
- CALMatters (California) — Three reporters will cover poverty throughout the state in a partnership led by CALMatters that also includes the San Jose Mercury News and the Fresno Bee
- Centro de Periodismo Investigativo (Puerto Rico) — Watchdog reporting on hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico
- Chalkbeat (New Jersey) — Education reporting in Newark, NJ
- Charleston Gazette-Mail (West Virginia) — Poverty in southern West Virginia
- The Charlotte Observer (North Carolina) — Affordable housing crisis and poverty in Charlotte
- Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee) — Local coverage of religion and faith communities
- Chico Enterprise-Record, Ukiah Daily Journal (California) — Fire recovery in northern California
- Cincinnati Enquirer (Ohio) — Local government watchdog reporting in Northern Kentucky
- Connecticut Mirror — Mental health and criminal justice
- Desert Sun (California) — Native American issues in Coachella Valley, California
- Detroit Free Press (Michigan) — Issues related to the re-entry of formerly incarcerated citizens into the community
- El Nuevo Herald (Florida) — Coverage of Nicaraguan, Mexican, Honduran, Dominican, Colombian and Venezuelan communities in Miami-Dade County
- Forum of Fargo-Moorhead (North Dakota) — Covering local schools
- Honolulu Civil Beat (Hawaii) — Cover public health across the islands, including health disparities among Native Hawaiians.
- KUER (Utah) — Two reporters, one focusing on Native American populations in southern Utah and the other on Washington County
- Lexington Herald-Leader (Kentucky) — Health care in eastern and southern Kentucky
- Malheur Enterprise (Oregon) — Latino issues in rural Oregon
- Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting (Maine) — Statehouse coverage, especially related to education
- Modesto Bee (California) — Children’s health in the Central Valley
- News & Observer (North Carolina) — Watchdog reporting related to the Hurricane Florence recovery
- Q City Metro (North Carolina) — Housing and gentrification in Charlotte, N.C. through the lens of the African American community
- Sacramento Bee (California) — Coverage of Hmong, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Cambodian and Japanese communities
- Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) — Two reporters, one covering San Juan County and one covering women’s issues
- Spectrum News Buffalo (New York) — Mental health issues in Buffalo
- Spokesman-Review (Washington) — Public health in eastern Washington state
- Sun-Gazette (California) — Agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley
- The Advocate (Louisiana) — Public health in south Louisiana
- The City (New York) — Juvenile justice in the Bronx
- WCAI (Massachusetts) — Climate change and its impact on the communities of Cape Cod and the south shore of Massachusetts
- West Virginia Public Broadcasting (West Virginia) — State government as it impacts southern West Virginia
- Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism — Criminal justice misconduct
- WPLN (Tennessee) — Criminal justice in Nashville
- And another 5 to 10 will be announced in the coming weeks.
In addition, Report for America will be renewing its commitments to the following existing programs:
- Victoria Advocate (Texas) — Rural public health
- Chicago Sun-Times (Illinois) — South and West sides of Chicago
- Mississippi Today — Criminal justice and photography
- Mississippi Public Broadcasting — Mississippi Delta
- Dallas Morning News (Texas) — Second generation immigrant communities
- Lexington Herald-Leader (Kentucky) — Eastern Kentucky
- Charleston Gazette-Mail (West Virginia) — Southern Coalfields of West Virginia
Report for America has extended the deadline for corps member applications to February 8, 2019.
The corps member application and information can be found here:
This group includes newsrooms that were recruited as a part of special initiatives in California, Connecticut and New York.
The expansion was made possible by a surge of financial support from a variety of sources including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Facebook, Google News Initiative, Dirk and Natasha Ziff, Galloway Family Foundation, The Tow Foundation, Ford Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Select Equity Group Foundation, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Steans Family Foundation, Henry L. Kimelman Family Foundation and the Duo Collective.
Report for America currently has 13 reporters in Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, New Mexico, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia. The leap in 2019 to 60 reporters nationwide, and the goal of 1,000 reporters by 2023 speaks to the urgent need to close the local news reporting gap. The program, funded by both private and public donors, pays for half of each reporter’s salary and the remainder is covered by the local newsroom and local benefactors.
RFA corps members typically have 3 to 6 years of experience, while some are accomplished recent graduates. More than half of the current corps members have returned to their home states.
Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit news organization dedicated to supporting emerging journalists in under-covered corners of the world. GroundTruth launched Report for American in January of 2018.