National service program recruits talented, diverse reporters—helps fund salaries
Report for America announced today that applications are now open for news organizations interested in partnering to host emerging and experienced journalists in their newsrooms for up to three years, beginning next summer.
Report for America is a national service program that places talented journalists—corps members—into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. Through the program, host newsrooms receive:
- Service-minded reporters, photographers and videographers
- Diverse, hand-picked candidates from a pool of emerging and experienced journalists
- Subsidized salary support, up to half for the first year
- Local fundraising coaching and resources
- Extra training and mentoring for journalists
“Report for America provides a unique opportunity for newsrooms to bring journalists on staff at a time when the need for local, trusted news is more important than ever,” said Earl Johnson, director of admissions for Report for America. “Through our support, news organizations are better positioned to cover important issues, diversify their newsrooms, and grow sustainable, local support within their communities.”
The application deadline is Oct. 3, 2022, and newsrooms will be publicly announced in December. More information about how the program works can be found here.
While all local news organizations are eligible to apply, Report for America is increasing its focus on supporting Black-owned and Latino-owned newsrooms and expanding its reach into rural areas where news holes can be huge. Prospective newsrooms must identify specific gaps in coverage in the community, drawing attention to under-covered communities or issues.
Additionally, newsrooms must demonstrate:
- NEED — Explain why the beat you’re proposing is vital to your audience and the community. Report for America is particularly interested in important beats that no other newsroom in your area is covering, or covering well. Also, why do you need help to support this position?
- SUPPORT — Report for America looks for newsrooms where corps members will receive good editing and mentoring, so they can do their best work.
- A COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION — Newsrooms that demonstrate a commitment to inclusion and supporting a diverse staff is important in the selection process.
- A COMMITMENT TO FUNDRAISING — Report for America asks its host newsrooms, where applicable, to try to raise money from local funders to pay for part of their corps member’s salary. Our development team can help you do this. Report for America believes local philanthropy is key to strong local newsrooms and wants to work with partners that believe this, too.
Beats to consider can include, but are not limited to: healthcare, education, communities of color, immigration, economic development, local government, religion, obituaries, military and veteran affairs, or even sports reporting. Newsrooms are encouraged to consider hosting multiple journalists.
Report for America looks to reinvent local journalism by creating a sustainable business model that taps into the communities served by newsrooms. This includes providing up to half of the corps member’s salary and providing tools and resources for newsrooms to raise funds locally to support their share.
Report for America is currently fielding some 300 corps members in more than 200 newsrooms across the country. They work in all mediums, for newsrooms of all sizes — and are making a big impact, newsrooms say.
“It has been a game changer,” said Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds, publisher of Black Voice News, of partnering with Report for America. “The quality of reporter that we’re able to afford, we couldn’t afford before. It’s been such a boost to our newsroom.”
Report for America plans to hold online information sessions with newsrooms and partner organizations throughout the application period. To begin the application process or to learn more information, news organizations can visit www.reportforamerica.org or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.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 across the United States and its territories. By creating a new, sustainable model for journalism, Report for America provides people with the information they need to improve their communities, hold powerful institutions accountable, and restore trust in the media. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up.