Applications are closed for reporters interested in becoming a Report for America corps member in 2019. They will reopen in December for 2020 corps selections.
We are looking for talented, service-oriented journalists who want to serve under-covered areas to provide Americans with the information they need to improve their communities and hold powerful institutions accountable. In 2019, we selected 61 journalists and placed them in 50 newsrooms across the country to report on under-covered issues and communities.
Applications for 2019 are closed.
We’ll begin taking applications for the 2020-2021 program this December, so please come back then!
If you missed our Q&As with Report for America leaders regarding the corps member experience and application process, videos of those discussions are available.
Join the Movement
Inside Local Newsrooms
Today, 61 corps members are in newsrooms in 28 states and Puerto Rico. Each is filling a critical gap in local coverage.
Mississippi Today reporter Michelle Liu exposed an alarming death spike in the the state’s prison system. Dallas Morning News reporter Obed Manuel examined the presence of “food swamps” on the city’s Hispanic and African-American communities. After the death of barber Harith Augustus, Chicago Sun-Times reporters Carlos Ballesteros and Manny Ramos collaborated on a story that uniquely focused on barbers as proffers of hope and advice in the city’s south and west sides. Lexington Herald-Leader reporter Will Wright reported on a community’s loss of water access, which eventually led to $5 million in donations and grants to make repairs and provide clean water to Martin County. Learn more about the transformative reporting all of our corps members are doing.
As a Report for America corps member, our journalists are also committed to starting or working with existing service projects. All projects are focused on youth-created media, helping to inspire a new generation of journalists. For instance, Obed Manuel has returned to his alma mater in Dallas, TX to revive the school newspaper and serve as a newsroom mentor. Samantha Max is teaching audio and journalism skills to students from the technical school in Macon, GA with the aim of producing a podcast inspired by WYPR’s Out of the Blocks. Eric Shelton is leading a bi-weekly photojournalism workshop within an after-school program for at-risk teens with the aim of an end-of-year community exhibit and a teen-run Instagram account. Based in the Delta, Alexandra Watts has partnered with the Greenville Renaissance Scholars to teach journalism skills and storytelling techniques to middle school students who will be producing a community-focused documentary. Through these projects, the corps members engage directly with the public in a way that makes journalism more transparent.
Training and Support
In June 2018, we brought the corps members together at the Poynter Institute and the Investigative Reporters & Editors conference. We were joined by trainers from Google News Lab, Society of Professional Journalists, Maynard Institute, Solutions Journalism Network, Online News Association and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. This training helped establish and support our first major cohort of journalists before they returned to their newsrooms to address important gaps in local coverage.
Dispersed across the country, corps members gather in our online space–a closed social network for corps members–to collaborate with one another, share their work, and participate in a supportive community. Each month, corps members come together by video for a training or roundtable discussion and, throughout the year, we invite special guests for corps members to meet, engage with, and learn from. As we grow our corps, part of this space will be available to alumni for further support and community.
On the Ground Essays
Corps members are also asked to work with our team to write and publish two on-the-ground essays for the GroundTruth Project throughout their year of service.
Will Wright’s essay focuses on his water reporting in Kentucky’s coal country and the effects of his coverage which quickly drew national attention to Martin County’s lack of water and elicited $5 million in donations and grants for repairs.
Eric Shelton’s essay reflects on a young man he met while reporting in Jackson, Mississippi’s Farish Street Historic District. The men talked about the poetry of the city and how the neighborhood has fallen victim to the violence.
Applications open in July, 2019 for host newsrooms for the 2020-2021 program
Newsroom selections announced in December
Applications open in December for interested journalists
Selected journalists will be interviewed in the spring
Corps member selections announced in early April
Corps members join newsrooms in June 2020