Our mission is to strengthen our communities and our democracy through local journalism that is truthful, fearless, fair and smart.
The collapse of local journalism has created a crisis for democracy. Residents no longer get the information they need to understand the critical issues facing their community, to make good decisions for their family, and hold elected officials accountable.
This problem is not going to be solved by a new phone app or an increase of a few pennies in digital ad rates. It’s time to try something dramatically different.
Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. An initiative of the nonprofit media organization, The GroundTruth Project, it is structured to harness the skills and idealism of an emerging group of journalists plus the creative spirit of local news organizations.
We hold two competitions. In one, news organizations make the case that they have urgent gaps in coverage and a plan to deploy the Report for America corps member. In the second, talented emerging journalists apply to serve these communities.
Report for America pays about half the salary. The other half is paid by the local news organization but we work with them to raise half of their half from local donors, small and large.
The Report for America corps members get world class training, at the beginning of the term and throughout the service years. The term is one year with an option for a second year (most corps members end up serving two years).
Our reporters in the field today are covering critically important beats in 49 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam. That’s just the beginning. Next year, we’ll send even more reporters throughout the country. We aim to place 1,000 reporters by 2024 and strive to fundamentally transform local news business models and ecosystems.
Report for America was founded by veteran journalists Steven Waldman and Charles Sennott, as an initiative of The GroundTruth Project. It is made possible through the support of hundreds of foundations and donors. (It is not funded by the government.) It is fueled not only by a world-class staff but leaders from around the journalism world who serve as advisors, mentors and judges.