NEW YORK – Report for America today announced the selection of 64 new local news organizations as host newsroom partners, enabling the national service program to place more than 300 journalists in the field next year.
The program also opened the application window for reporters to apply as corps members in 2021. Information about how to apply can be found here.
Report for America’s support is expanding to more than 200 newsrooms across the country, at a time when the impact of the pandemic has decimated local news economically. The newly-selected newsrooms and beats include:
- Southwest Times Record—Food insecurity around Fort Smith, Ark.
- St. Louis American—African-American businesses in the St. Louis area
- WFYI Public Media—Criminal justice in central Indiana
- Granite State News Collaborative—Statehouse coverage for 20 local newsrooms
- Bozeman Daily Chronicle—Photographer covering rural Montana
- Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting—Agribusiness and workers’ status in Illinois
- Tampa Bay Times—Mental health and health care
- WBHM—Education in Birmingham, Ala.
- Atlanta Journal Constitution—Asian and Latino communities in the Atlanta area
- Wausau Pilot & Review—Housing in Marathon County, Wis.
- California News Deserts & Trust Initiative—5 newsrooms, 2 foundations, fielding reporters in Butte, Kern, Madera, North Siskiyou, San Bernardino, Tulare, Yolo and Yuba counties
The selections were made mostly on the basis of which newsrooms defined the most compelling gaps in coverage and plans to deploy corps members well. But the bottom-up approach did produce certain new patterns.
- Report for America doubled the number of host newsrooms owned by people of color
- The program supported more locally-owned for-profit news organizations than news organizations owned by private equity firms or hedge funds
- More than one third of the beats are covering communities of color, reflecting a surge in demand from newsrooms to address previously neglected beats
- Half of the newsrooms are nonprofits
“With the local news system shrinking, it’s important that we both put more and more reporters in the field—and that we help newsrooms that are working toward becoming more sustainable, and more grounded in the community,” said Steve Waldman, president and co-founder of Report for America. “It’s particularly gratifying that newsrooms have, en masse, decided that they want to do better coverage of communities of color.”
Those chosen include daily and weekly newspapers, digital-only news outlets, radio and television stations. They all offer exciting opportunities for prospective corps members, to include dozens of open beats.
Report for America, which is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, is a two-year program (with an option for three) that delivers a wide-range of benefits to its corps members. Beyond paying up to half of the journalists’ salaries, it provides ongoing training and mentorship by leading journalists, peer networking, and memberships to select professional organizations.
Applications are being accepted now until Jan. 31. Corps members will be selected from a highly-competitive, national competition. Last year, more than 1,800 applications were received. Those hired become employees of their respective newsrooms and will begin their employment June 1, 2021.
“Report for America provides a unique opportunity for journalists to really sink their teeth into local, issue-oriented reporting that is missing from so many newsrooms today,” said Norman Parish, recruitment director, Report for America. “Beyond talented reporters and photojournalists, we are looking for individuals who see journalism as a public service and want to make a difference within their communities.”
Report for America prioritizes a diverse corps and is working with a number of professional organizations and college journalism programs to help ensure that newsrooms reflect the audiences they serve, added Parish. To help connect corps members to the community, they are required to do a service project, which often includes engaging middle or high school students in journalism related activities.
While Report for America is geared toward emerging journalists, it is also piloting a small “experienced corps” for 2021, with positions available for mid- to late-career journalists with eight or more years’ experience.
Report for America, which was launched by The GroundTruth Project in the fall of 2017, looks to place 1,000 journalists into local newsrooms by 2024. It is supported in its efforts by a number of philanthropic leaders, including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Facebook Journalism Project, Natasha and Dirk Ziff, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the Lumina Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Heising-Simons Foundation, the Henry L. Kimelman Foundation, the Tow Foundation, the Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation and more.
“There is a growing awareness that the crisis in local journalism has everything to do with the crisis in our democracy; but we believe trusted, local journalism breaks down barriers and brings people together. Supporting local news through Report for America is part of the way forward, a way to restore civic engagement and respectful dialogue across the divides in our country,” said Charles Sennott, GroundTruth chief executive officer and co-founder of Report for America. “We can’t wait to work with our newsroom partners and our reporting corps to restore journalism from the ground up.”
To learn more about Report for America and its mission to strengthen our communities and our democracy through local journalism that is truthful, fearless, fair and smart, visit www.reportforamerica.org.
About Report for America
Report for America is a national service program that places talented emerging journalists in local newsrooms 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, an award-winning nonprofit media organization with an established track record of training and supporting teams of emerging journalists around the world and in the US. Report for America is a MacArthur Foundation 100&Change finalist, a global competition for a single $100 million grant.
Report for America’s newly-selected host newsroom partners for 2021
|AK||Fairbanks Daily News-Miner||Health care in rural Alaska|
|AK||KUCB||Regional reporting in the Eastern Aleutians|
|AL||AL.com||1) Child wellness and mental health in Alabama 2) educational opportunity in Birmingham|
|AL||Montgomery Advertiser||Alabama’s rural “Black Belt” region|
|AL||WBHM||Education in Birmingham, AL|
|AR||Southwest Times Record||Food insecurity and poverty in Fort Smith, AR|
|AZ||Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting||Health care crises on the Arizona-Mexico border|
|AZ||Nogales International||Eastern Santa Cruz County, AZ|
|AZ||TucsonSentinel.com||Government accountability and equity issues in Tucson|
|CA||Black Voice News||Black community in the Inland Empire of Southern California (data journalist)|
|CA||California News Desert & Trust Initiative||Local accountability reporting in California’s biggest news deserts|
|CA||CapRadio & Sacramento Observer||Education in Sacramento area|
|CA||Lookout Santa Cruz||1) Business 2) crime and courts in Santa Cruz|
|CA||San José Spotlight||Vietnamese communities and San Jose|
|CO||The Colorado Sun||Visual storytelling around Colorado|
|CT||New Haven Independent||Government accountability in Hamden, CT|
|CT||WNPR||Housing in Fairfield County|
|DC||The Washington Informer||Health care in the Black community of DC|
|FL||WUFT News||Racial justice in East Gainesville|
|GA||Athens Banner-Herald||Communities of color in and around Athens, GA (2 beats, including photographer)|
|GA||The Atlanta-Journal Constitution||Immigrant communities in Atlanta (two beats)|
|GA||The Plug||Innovation and business start-up initiatives at Historically Black Colleges and Universities|
|GUAM||GuamPDN.com/Pacific Daily News||Poverty in Guam|
|HI||Honolulu Star-Advertiser||Ethnic and cultural affairs on the island|
|ID||Idaho Statesman||Watchdog education reporting for Idaho|
|IL||Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting||Illinois agribusiness and status of workers|
|IN||IndyStar||Education, health in Latino & Black communities of Indianapolis|
|IN||WFYI Public Media||Criminal justice in central Indiana|
|MA||New England Public Media||Equity Team. covering racial socio-economic disparities, based in Springfield|
|MA||The Boston Globe||Boston’s Black neighborhoods|
|MD||The AFRO-American Newspaper||Business news affecting Baltimore’s African-American community|
|ME||Maine Public||Refugee communities in the state|
|MI||Detroit Jewish News||Generational shifts among Detroit-area Jews|
|MI||Michigan Chronicle||Detroit politics, for African-American audiences|
|MI||The Hastings Banner||Barry County, Michigan|
|MN||MPR News||Hispanic communities in Minnesota|
|MO||St. Louis American/Type Investigations||Business reporting and St. Louis Blacks|
|MT||Bozeman Daily Chronicle||Photography in rural Montana|
|NC||88.5 WFDD/La Noticia||COVID-19 recovery and the Latino community in Forsyth County, NC|
|NC||Mountain Times Publications||Watchdog environmental reporting in western NC|
|NC||The Charlotte Post||Healthcare, African-American community in Charlotte|
|NE||The Reader – El Perico||Latino community Omaha, especially COVID-19 impact|
|NH||Granite State News Collaborative||New Hampshire statehouse|
|NH||New Hampshire Public Radio||Latino communities in southern NH|
|NH||Valley News||1) Environment and climate change in the Upper Valley and 2) general-assignment photography|
|NJ||Asbury Park Press||Housing shortages and poverty|
|NY||Documented||Immigration enforcement in New York City|
|NY||New York Amsterdam News||NYC mayor, city council and city agencies|
|NY||The Riverdale Press||Housing in Riverdale, Bronx, NY|
|NY||WSKG Public Telecommunications Council||Rural health care in southern NYS|
|OH||Richland Source||Richland, Ashland County and Knox County in Ohio|
|OR||Statesman Journal||Agricultural workers and Oregon|
|PA||PublicSource||Race relations in Pittsburgh|
|TN||Commercial Appeal||South Memphis|
|TX||El Paso Matters||Status of women in El Paso|
|TX||Houston Chronicle||Small businesses in Houston|
|TX||Houston Defender Network||Schools in Houston|
|TX||Marfa Public Radio||U.S.-Mexican border communities|
|TX||The Texas Observer||Reporter and photographer covering indigenous areas|
|VA||Henrico Citizen||Education in Henrico County, VA|
|WA||The News Tribune, in partnership with The Olympian, The Bellingham Herald, and The Tri-City Herald||Indigenous communities and Washington|
|WI||Wausau Pilot & Review||Hmong and other immigrants in Marathon County, WI|
|WY||WyoFile||Education and schools in Wyoming|
Report for America’s existing newsroom partners that will receive new positions:
|IL||Block Club Chicago||South Chicago neighborhoods; Lakeview/Boystown/Lincoln Park areas, home to the largest population of the city’s LGBTQ community|
|CA||CALmatters||Poverty and opportunity in Sacramento and in the Inland Empire, part of The California Divide project (2 positions)|
|NC||Carolina Public Press||Watchdog labor and election issues in North Carolina and Appalachia (2 positions)|
|IL||Chicago Sun-Times||Chicago’s South and West side neighborhoods; photography in those neighborhoods (2 positions)|
|OH||Cincinnati.com/The Enquirer||Government watchdog reporting in Northern Kentucky; Butler, Clermont and Warren counties in OH|
|MI||FlintBeat.com||Local businesses and nonprofits in Flint, MI; community photography|
|OR||Herald and News||A historic dam removal project and other projects; environmental photography|
|TX||San Antonio Express-News||Political dysfunction in suburban towns; Texas Hill development and drinking water issues|
|FL||Tampa Bay Times||Seniors; health care and mental health|
|MO||The Beacon||Intersection of health and environment; data reporting on local government; and four positions to staff up an online startup for Wichita, KS|
|MA||The Berkshire Eagle||Statehouse reporting; data trends in Berkshire County|
|OH||The Columbus Dispatch||Rural issues in central Ohio; Somali, Bhutanese and other immigrant communities in central Ohio|
|KS||The Community Voice||African-American communities in Kansas City; criminal justice system & African-American community in Kansas|
|NY||The Haitian Times||Haitian community in Brooklyn; Little Haiti in Miami|
|CA||The Oaklandside||Immigrant businesses; health problems from wildfires and COVID in Oakland|
|LA||The Times-Picayune and The Advocate||Healthcare; Florida parishes; St. Tammany Parish|
|MI||Traverse City Record-Eagle||Indigenous communities in Northern Michigan; using data to tell stories of local and state issues and trends|
|VT||VTDigger.org||Southern Vermont; Chittenden and Franklin counties, including government and schools|
|TN||WPLN / Nashville Public Radio||Environmental equity; criminal justice in Nashville|
|OH||WYSO Public Radio||Climate change and environmental issues; food insecurity in southwest, OH|
|MD||Technical.ly||Technology and economic development in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Baltimore (three positions)|
|UT||The Salt Lake Tribune||Government accountability in San Juan county; the status of women; Latino community in west Salt Lake City|
|PR||Centro de Periodismo Investigativo||Watchdog reporting on hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico (three positions) and education reporting|
|ME||Pine Tree Watch (Maine Monitor)||Statehouse; education; energy; and health reporting|
|WV||Mountain State Spotlight||Health, business and database reporting in rural West Virginia (three positions)|
|MA||WCAI||Environment; southern MA coastal towns|
A complete list of current and new host newsrooms can be found here.