WCAI: The Cape and Islands NPR Station

WCAI is the local NPR affiliate serving Cape Cod, the South Coast, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. WCAI is dedicated to reflecting the unique character of the region and providing first-rate journalism. A small newsroom producing award-winning radio, WCAI reaches from the industrial legacy cities of New Bedford and Fall River, to the artist-and-LGBTQ mecca of Provincetown, to the working-class neighborhoods of the mid-Cape, to the agricultural resurgence of the near-shore island of Martha’s Vineyard, to the remote villages of Nantucket, 26 miles out to sea. WCAI is grounded in stories of science and the environment, drawing on the intellectual wealth of being home to research laboratories of world-class marine and environmental science institutions. It is the only public media service solely dedicated to covering this broad and diverse region. Closed Position: This Report for America corps member works for WCAI as an environmental reporter, focusing on stories about how climate change affects people in the region. Cape Cod is at forefront of some of the most hopeful efforts to combat climate change and reshape the forces contributing to it. The science critical to understanding the changing atmosphere is happening in laboratories in Woods Hole. Additionally, scientists from these laboratories are part of grass-roots level conversations about how we should respond to the environmental crisis. We are also home to the imminent launch of the nation’s largest offshore wind farm, just south of Martha’s Vineyard, which promises a new era in renewable energy. There are important, people-driven stories of innovation and adaptation to be told. WCAI’s science program host, Dr. Heather Goldstone, serves as a mentor for the environmental reporter, having covered this region and topic for years.


Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news organization covering one of America’s most important stories: the effort to improve schools for all children, especially those who have historically lacked access to a quality education. Chalkbeat is mission-driven, believing that every child deserves an excellent education and that a strong press is vital to making that happen. Through unbiased reporting, Chalkbeat helps the public examine how schools are operating, scrutinize key policy and legislative developments that often happen behind closed doors, and gain access to important data and context that would not otherwise be made transparent. The news organization practices local-first reporting, with the majority of reporters living in the communities they cover.

Emma Cotton

Emma Cotton reports for VTDigger, a news publication and watchdog based in Montpelier, Vermont, where she focuses on Southern Vermont, which has been plagued by everything from contaminated drinking water to population decline and opioid abuse. Since 2016, Cotton has been a Vermont based reporter and writer. For the Addison County Independent, she explored the intersection of agriculture and water quality decline in Lake Champlain for a three-part investigative series called “The Giving Stream.” Formerly, she served as assistant editor of Vermont Ski + Ride and Vermont Sports Magazines, where she won “Best Columnist” from the New England Newspaper & Press Association. Her work has also appeared in the  University of Otago’s student publication, Critic Te  Arohi, The St. Pete Catalyst, 5280 Magazine, and The Brandon Reporter. She was the editor-in-chief of Eckerd College’s student publication, The Current, where she won an award from the Society of Professional Journalists for her coverage of the college’s attempt to change Campus culture surrounding sexual assault. She graduated with Eckerd’s first Bachelor of Science in the Creative Arts collegium after designing her own major in science journalism. Before joining RFA, Cotton toured the country in a homemade campervan.  

Michael Butler

Michael Butler reports for Technical.ly, where he covers winners and losers in the tech economy in Philadelphia. He moved to Philadelphia in 2010 to participate in the AmeriCorps program CityYear and later covered the arts during an internship with the Philadelphia Weekly and attended Temple University, where he graduated in 2016. He grew up in Augusta, Georgia, as part of a military family and moved around several times over the course of his life. As a freelance journalist, he has contributed to platforms like National Public Radio affiliate WHYY and reported on culture and the arts for publications like Okayplayer and Remezcla. In 2018, he was nominated for the Freelance Reporter of the Year award by Philadelphia’s Pen & Pencil Club. In 2019, he was one of the recipients of the Lenfest Institute for Journalism’s inaugural Next Generation Award grant. Later that year, he was selected by the Maynard Institute for Journalism to be a Maynard 200 fellow.

Katie Brown

Katie Brown reports for Pine Tree Watch, a publication from The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting. Maine has lacked a full-time journalist focused on climate and energy and Brown is filling that role. She worked as a local newspaper reporter and community radio producer covering environmental issues while earning her master’s degree in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She moved to Washington, D.C. to complete the final step of her master’s degree, where she worked at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and contributed to a climate change communication campaign for the National Park Service. Before pursuing a career in public service journalism, Brown was an undergraduate researcher at California State University, Monterey Bay and earned a B.A. in environmental studies. She has worked as a field biologist alongside Alaskan fishermen studying fish guts and collaborated with researchers in Ethiopia to conserve indigenous church forests. Her work has been featured in the Mercury News, High Country News, Science News, and Mongabay. She has a Master Scuba Diver rating.

Samuel Bojarski

Sam Bojarski covers Brooklyn, N.Y. for The Haitian Times. The new Report for America position allows him to continue working for the paper, but as a staffer. Bojarski has covered Haiti and its diaspora for the Haitian Times as a freelancer since the fall of 2018. Along with the Haitian Times staff, his work on the reporting project “Dashed Dreams: Haiti Since the 2010 Quake,” received grant funding from the Pulitzer Center. As a freelance journalist, Bojarski has covered local news in western Pennsylvania for more than two years, on behalf of Trib Total Media, BeaverCountian.com, PublicSource and other outlets in the Keystone State. He also covered the North American maritime industry for multiple trade publications. In December of 2015, he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, where he contributed to the student newspaper, The Pitt News, and interned for Pitt Magazine, the university’s alumni publication.

Aja Beckham

Aja Beckham reports for DCist, a digital publication that covers the District of Columbia and the people who live there rather than the federal government. She covers minority communities east of the Anacostia River. A graduate of the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana with a degree in social work, Beckham has been a journalist in Chicago for the last three years as the Economic Justice Reporter for Free Spirit Media, which provides teens and young adults in communities of color with hands-on media production experience. She has also been an Early Career Journalist with City Bureau, a non-profit civic media platform on Chicago’s South Side. She was also an assistant to the CEO of the National Urban League. She was chosen for a State Department exchange student program in Indonesia and has also studied in China and Thailand.

Roman Battaglia

Roman Battaglia reports for Delaware Public Radio where he focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels. He was recently a part of the Next Generation Radio Program from NPR, where he reported on immigrant experiences in Sacramento, California. After graduating from Oregon State University in June 2019, he worked at Jefferson Public Radio as part of the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism. His story covering the role that amateur radio operators play in disaster relief won the Bill Leonard Professional Media Award for Audio Reporting. During his time at Oregon State, Battaglia was the station manager for his college radio station, KBVR FM. Under his leadership, the station was named one of the top college radio stations by the College Media Association and a new podcast covering the experiences of Asian Americans on campus won the best podcast award for 2018-2019. Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore.

Antonia Ayres-Brown

Antonia Ayres-Brown reports on race and poverty in Newport, Rhode Island for The Public’s Radio, which is based in Providence. She most recently covered state politics and government as an intern in the Chicago Tribune’s Springfield bureau. She also interned with the Toledo Blade and reported on manicurist licensing policy for Connecticut Public Radio. She earned her B.A. from Yale University, where she contributed to The New Journal, a long-form magazine about New Haven. In 2019, she was awarded Yale University’s Gordon Summer Journalism Fellowship to research gender-mixed barracks in the Norwegian Armed Forces. She has written about public policy, sexual violence and criminal justice.