Applications for news organizations to host a corps member are now open. Any type of news organization can apply. The application is simple. The key questions:
- What are the coverage gaps in your community?
- What specific beat(s) would you create for RFA corps members to fill that gap?
- Can you deliver your (and your community’s) share of the reporter’s salary?
Quick and easy. If your newsroom is selected, Report for America pays about half of an entry-level salary. The rest is split between the news organization and local donors. The reporter becomes an employee of your newsroom, serving for one to two years, starting in June 2020.
Report for America had an immediate impact, allowing us to reopen a bureau shuttered 7 years ago in an economically tattered corner of America. Will Wright brought statewide attention to the plight of people who lack clean water and exposed a questionable economic development program before the legislature could make it law. And he’s just getting started.
Deputy Editor, Lexington Herald-Leader
Report for America journalists fill important gaps
Neglected regions or counties
Six reporters in our latest class of Report for America corps members cover beats exclusively involving Native American communities via Wyoming Public Radio, Casper Star-Tribune (Wyoming), KEUR public radio (Utah), the Desert Sun (Cal.), the Times-News (Idaho) and Yellowstone Public Media (Montana). This represents a stunning quadrupling of the number of reporters solely covering Indian country for mainstream media outlets.
Will Wright’s persistent reporting about the lack of drinkable water in Eastern Kentucky got results — $5 million from the state to fix the collapsing system.
Mallory Falk was on the Mexico border reporting on refugees for KRWG in Las Cruces. Her coverage was picked up by NPR’s Morning Edition.
Molly Born covered the coal fields area of West Virginia for West Virginia Public Media.
Under-covered issues & beats
Caity Coyne at the Charleston Gazette-Mail showed vividly some of the healthcare problems unique to rural areas:
In August, Jennifer Church’s dad suffered a brain aneurysm in McDowell County. Her stepmother immediately called 911. She was told an ambulance was being sent to their home in Iaeger. It was 10:30 p.m.
The ambulance didn’t arrive until after midnight, Church said. The responders told her they couldn’t find the house.
After a failed attempt at securing flight transport, Church said, the emergency responders took her and her dad to Welch Community Hospital for care — about a 30-minute drive from Iaeger without bad road conditions or difficult weather
Sarah Hughes covered the Pennsylvania statehouse for Billy Penn and The Incline. Voters in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia were finally able to enter voting booths with some actual information about significant state legislative races thanks to a guide she created.
Samantha Max covered health care for the Macon Telegraph — as part of a unique effort with the Co/Lab of Arizona state, enlisting the community in helping to develop story ideas. Example: “He will die without treatment. But when clinic closes, there’s nowhere for him to go”
Eric Shelton, a photographer, has done remarkable photo essays for Mississippi Today, including one about a type of stickball played by the local chocotaw Indians….