Wednesday, August 15, 2018

ProPublica program helps local papers tell big stories without parachuting in; apply for next year by Sept. 14

ProPublica has announced it will continue its grant-funded Local Reporting Network program for another year. The foundation-funded nonprofit will pay salaries and benefits allowances for full-time reporters at seven local or regional news organizations, and give them professional support in an investigative reporting project. Though the projects for this first round of the LRN have covered diverse subjects, the second round will have a special focus on state-government accountability reporting. The deadline to apply is Sept. 14. Click here for more information.

The seven local news outlets participating this year say they like the way ProPublica has helped them tell in-depth stories without overshadowing them, Christine Schmidt reports for the nonprofit.

Ken Ward Jr., an environmental reporter at the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia, told Schmidt that "It’s nice when you’re in a small newspaper in a little place like Charleston to feel like you’ve got a literal army of people at ProPublica that are on your side, trying to help you take these stories to the next level."

Carbondale, Ill.., reporter Molly Parker said "We’re really proud of our work at the Southern Illinoisan, but we have a flashlight, not a lighthouse . . . Giving some of these issues that we’ve been seeing a national spotlight or introducing them to a national audience might help change the nature of the conversation."

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