National service program to provide second class of talented journalists to local newsrooms
CONTACT: Maggie Messitt, firstname.lastname@example.org
August 14, 2018
Report for America announced today that the applications are open for New York and Connecticut news organizations interested in hosting journalists to report on criminal justice issues in 2019 – 2020.
With support from The Tow Foundation, Report for America is able to support two full-time reporters in selected New York and Connecticut newsrooms to cover criminal justice particularly where coverage intersects with public health issues.
The Tow Foundation’s investment in Report for America intersects with two of its program goals: supporting the next generation of journalists and promoting the fair and equitable treatment of those who are in, or at risk of involvement in, our nation’s juvenile and criminal justice systems. The Foundation’s geographic focus is primarily in New York and Connecticut.
Emily Tow Jackson, Executive Director and President of The Tow Foundation, said, “The social justice issues of our time are complex and the public deserves to hear the truth about what is impacting their communities. Report for America’s two new positions in New York and Connecticut will support a pipeline of emerging journalists while also having significant impact in the region.”
Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, which trains and supports a new generation of journalists.
This corps of journalists will join newsrooms across the country in June 2019. 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. The other half is split between the news organization and local donors. RFA also provides extensive training and support throughout the year.
The deadline for newsrooms to apply is October 31. More information about how the program works can be found here.
The national service program’s first class is currently in newsrooms around the country. Thirteen extraordinarily talented, emerging journalists were selected from 990 applications.
All news organizations across all platforms 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. As part of the specific initiative supported by The Tow Foundation, New York or Connecticut news organizations must have a plan to enhance criminal justice coverage and may structure their application to take one or two reporters.
In 2018, 13 Report for America corps members were placed in 11 host newsrooms to report on undercovered topics and underserved communities for the Charleston Gazette-Mail (WV), Chicago Sun-Times (IL), Dallas Morning News (TX), The Incline / Billy Penn (PA), KRWG (NM), Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MS), Mississippi Today (MS), Telegraph (GA), Victoria Advocate (TX), West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WV.)
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, 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. For more, visit www.reportforamerica.org
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. GroundTruth’s newest initiative ‘Report for America’ seeks to address a crisis in local journalism in America which has become a crisis for our democracy. By deploying RFA corps members into RFA host newsrooms for one year of public service reporting, RFA is trying to create a movement to restore trust in journalism and serve communities that need better coverage of the issues in their community. For more, visit www.thegroundtruthproject.org
The Tow Foundation: Established in 1988 by Leonard and Claire Tow, the foundation envisions a society where all people have the opportunity to enjoy a high quality of life and have a voice in their community. The Foundation supports non-profit organizations that serve vulnerable populations and help individuals to become positive contributors to society for the benefit of themselves and others. The Foundation supports projects that offer transformative experiences to individuals and creating collaborative ventures in fields where we see opportunities for breakthroughs, reform, and benefits for underserved populations. Investments focus on the support of innovative programs and system reform in the areas of juvenile and criminal justice, groundbreaking medical research, higher education and cultural institutions. www.towfoundation.org/