Report for America adds 70 newsrooms, opens applications for more reporters

Nonprofit service program looks to grow reporting corps to 325 in 2022

(See the newly-selected newsrooms and beats here)

Report for America today announced the selection of nearly 70 new host newsroom partners, while opening applications for approximately 150 new reporting corps positions, to help the national service program continue its growth, replace program graduates, and further efforts to reverse the collapse of local journalism.

Information about how journalists can apply to be members of the reporting corps can be found here.

The newly-selected newsrooms, along with those renewing their partnership, will expand Report for America’s corps size to 325, including nearly 270 newsrooms across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in 2022. Among them are:

  • KDLL Public Radio: Effects of state budget policies on rural communities in Alaska
  • Texas Monthly: Education in Texas
  • Cedar Rapids Gazette: Flooding and its effects in Iowa
  • The Institute for Public Service Reporting at the University of Memphis: Civil rights cold cases in Tennessee
  • WSHU Public Radio: Indigenous nations in Connecticut and Long Island, N.Y.
  • Spectrum News 1: Farming and food production in upstate New York
  • NonDoc Media: Government accountability in Edmond, Oklahoma
  • El Tecolote: Latino healthcare in San Francisco
  • Indianapolis Recorder: The role of Black churches
  • Georgia Public Broadcasting: Rural healthcare in the “Stroke Belt”
  • Outlier Media: Detroit City Hall
  • NJ Spotlight News: Mental health issues in rural New Jersey 

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. Based on feedback from the field:

  • Report for America is expanding into more rural communities, with more than 40 new positions available, to reach areas hardest-hit by newsroom closures
  • 40 of the total beats are focused on education, with 18 in the new group
  • The program looks to fill two dozen Spanish-speaking positions, helping newsrooms reach the growing Latino population in their communities
  • There’s increased demand for coverage of the environment, with 31 new beats open
  • Many of the beats—nearly 40%— will cover communities of color, meeting a continued demand from newsrooms to provide more equitable coverage

“Yes, local news is in crisis—but this batch of newsrooms also fills us with tremendous hope,” said Steven Waldman, president and co-founder of Report for America. “Newsrooms across the country are pushing to cover essential local beats like schools and rural areas, at the same time they try to better represent all of the people in their communities.”  

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. Among them are increased broadcast and multi-media opportunities through partnerships like Spectrum News. Additionally, Report for America is seeking photojournalists for CatchLight’s Local Visual Desk in California.

Report for America has also partnered with the University of Missouri School of Journalism and ten host newsrooms to collaborate on environmental coverage as part of the Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk.

Report for America, which is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, is a two-year program (with an option for three years) 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. 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.

Applications are being accepted until Jan. 31; however, those who apply before Dec. 31 will receive early consideration. 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, 2022.

 

“Report for America provides a unique opportunity for journalists to pursue meaningful, local beat reporting that sadly is missing from many of today’s newsrooms,” said Earl Johnson, director of admissions at Report for America. “Beyond talented reporters and photojournalists, we are looking for a diversity of individuals who see journalism as a calling, who 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 Johnson. 

Report for America is supported in its efforts by a number of philanthropic leaders, including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Meta Journalism Project, Natasha and Dirk Ziff, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the Joyce Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, SpringPoint Partners, the Walton Family Foundation in partnership with the University of Missouri School of Journalism, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, the Henry L. Kimelman Foundation, the Tow Foundation, and the Google News Initiative.

“Make no mistake, the greatest threat to democracy is the collapse of local news,” said Charles Sennott, GroundTruth chief executive officer and co-founder of Report for America. “We are excited to welcome these newsrooms and look forward to empowering them to meet the growing information needs of the communities they serve.”

To learn more about Report for America, 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, 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 journalism organization with an established track record of training and supporting teams of emerging journalists around the world, including the recent launch of Report for the World in partnership with local newsrooms in India, Nigeria and Brazil.