TYPES OF PROGRAMS
Report for America “Classic” – We hold annual national competitions, recruiting both reporters and news organizations from around the country. The winning reporters are placed in the winning news rooms.
Regional or Local Corps – We are working with local foundations and philanthropists to set up special corps in certain areas. We might, for instance, set up a program to put 20 reporters into a particular state. We’d then recruit great journalists from around that state and the country – and hold a competition among the news organization in the state for who would get those subsidized reporters.
Issue Based Corps – We’re going to be setting up special corps to field local reporters covering health care, education, veterans affairs, the environment, religion and criminal justice.
Interested in supporting such efforts? Please write to us here.
WHERE THE MONEY GOES
Every $20,000 we raise, can (roughly speaking) get a reporter into the field. That’s because each $20,000 that we at Report for America contribute toward a reporting slot is usually matched by $10,000 from the local news organization and $10,000 from local funders.
We say “roughly speaking” because we also spend money on the program itself – training, evaluation, recruitment, etc — above the $20,000. The goal is that when we hit 1,000 reporters in 2023, some 80 percent will be going to reporter salaries. In the earlier years, a higher percentage of what we take in goes to training, recruitment and other program costs.
Our model is so scalable because we’re not creating new news organizations, we’re helping to inject talent and reporting capacity into the most innovative existing news organizations.
Report For America (RFA) is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an independent, non-partisan organization dedicated to supporting and training a new generation of journalists to cover the most important stories of their generation. GroundTruth is registered as a tax deductible entity under the 501(c)(3) classification of the IRS.
Based at WGBH, the flagship of PBS in Boston, The GroundTruth Project, and hence RFA, has established funding guidelines that adhere closely to the PBS standards and practices for transparency, independence and integrity. RFA is committed to ensuring that the journalism created by its corps members is free from undue influence by funders. To this end:
- The news organizations hosting RFA corps members have sole editorial control over the content created for them by corps members and make all publishing decisions.
- Donors who contribute to local news organizations that are hosting RFA corps members, or to RFA directly, will not have any influence over the content as a result of their donation.
- RFA will only place reporters in news organizations with a stated commitment to not having coverage be influenced by advertisers or donors.
- National funding for RFA will flow directly to RFA through The GroundTruth Project. Local funding usually will also flow through RFA via GroundTruth, as the parent organization, which will then subsidize the salary of the reporter. This provides an extra layer of insulation to protect against even an appearance that donations could influence the editorial result.
- Unless anonymity is requested by the news organizations, RFA will provide the names of donors above $1000 upon request.
- In our relationships with funders, we will take care to avoid any actual or perceived conflicts of interest and the potential for audience confusion of a funder’s role. Report for America and GroundTruth rely on a variety of funding sources. The diversity of funding support helps strengthen our approach and independence.
Generous support has come from:
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Google News Initiative
Galloway Family Foundation
Natasha and Dirk Ziff
The Tow Foundation
Craig Newmark Philanthropies
Select Equity Group Foundation
Ethics and Excellence in Journalism
Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation
The Lenfest Institute for Journalism
The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
The Joyce Foundation
The Steans Family Foundation
Henry M. Kimelman Family Foundation
And numerous small individual donations.