Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Report for America touts 'the single biggest hiring announcement of journalists in recent memory,' many rural

Report for America will place a record 250 emerging journalists in 164 local newsrooms in 46 states and Puerto Rico in 2020; that's more than four times larger than the 2019 class and marks the single largest hiring announcement of journalists in recent memory, its website says. A considerable number of the winning newsrooms pitched projects with a rural angle (list below).

Though the newsrooms have been chosen, the journalists who will fill those slots have not. Applications for reporting slots are being accepted until Jan. 31, and will be chosen through a national competition. Click here to apply. The selected journalists and their newsroom pairings will be announced in April, and the journalists will begin work in June. About 50 RFA reporters will continue their work from last year.

Report for America is a national service program that places emerging journalists into local newsrooms for one to two years. An initiative of The GroundTruth Project, RFA was created as a direct response to the expansion of news deserts that leave communities uninformed on local issues.

Here are some RFA winners that pitched projects with a rural angle:
  • The Associated Press in Frankfort, Ky,: State legislature, especially issues affecting Appalachia (54 of the state's 120 counties).
  • Lexington Herald-Leader: 1) Health care in Appalachian Kentucky and watchdog reporting in Eastern Kentucky (filled by a current corps member); 2) a photojournalist for rural communities.
  • WFAE 90.7 FM, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, and the Digital Public Library of America, all in Charlotte, N.C.: a partnership using radio and Wikipedia to fill news deserts.
  • KOSU 91.7 FM in Oklahoma City: Agriculture and rural issues in Oklahoma.
  • Rappahannock News & Foothills Forum in Washington, Va.: The changing nature of public services.
  • 100 Days in Appalachia in Morgantown, W.Va.: White supremacy groups in Appalachia.
  • Charleston Gazette-Mail: In addition to four other beats, coverage of poverty in southern West Virginia (filled by current corps member).
  • West Virginia Public Broadcasting: State government and southern West Virginia (filled by a current corps member).
  • The Victoria Advocate in Victoria, Texas: 1) rural counties surrounding Victoria; 2) rural health care (filled by current corps member).
  • KUER 90.1 FM in Salt Lake City: Indigenous issues in southern Utah (filled by current corps member).
  • The Spectrum in St. George, Utah: National parks.
  • Southern Illinois Local Media Group (Randolph County Herald Tribune): Town of Chester.
  • Kansas City PBS: Rural issues in Missouri.
  • The Columbus Dispatch: Rural issues in central Ohio.
  • WKSU 89.7 FM in Kent, Ohio: Rural health care.
  • The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, Mass.: Legislative coverage affecting rural western Massachusetts.
  • New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News in Manchester: Northern New Hampshire.
  • Valley News in West Lebanon, N.H., and White River Junction, Vt.: 1) Environment and climate in the Upper Connecticut Valley; 2) photojournalism in northern New Hampshire.
  • Vermont Public Radio in Colchester: The Northeast Kingdom.
  • VTDigger.org in Montpelier: Southern Vermont.
  • The Cordova Times on the southern Alaska coast: Native communities.
  • The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif.: Native American issues in the Coachella Valley.
  • The Mendocino Voice in Booneville, Calif.: The effect of environmental regulation on salmon runs, wildfires, the economy and other issues.
  • Ouray County Plaindealer, a weekly in Ridgway, Colo.: North-central Ouray County.
  • KIVI-TV, Nampa, Idaho: Agriculture and rural issues, including immigration and effects of climate change.
  • Post Register in Idaho Falls, Idaho: Rural health care.
  • Herald and News in Klamath Falls, Oregon: Endangered species, water rights and issues associated with a dam removal.
  • Malheur Enterprise, a weekly in Vale, Oregon: Latino communities in eastern Oregon (filled by current corps member).
  • South Dakota Public Broadcasting in Vermillion, S.D.: Ethnic communities, including Native Americans.
  • Casper Star-Tribune in Wyoming: Native American Issues on the Wind River Reservation (filled by current corps member).

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