Wednesday, November 18, 2020

ProPublica announces six distinguished fellows for longer projects, including some who write about rural issues

ProPublica announced Monday the names of six local reporters who have been chosen as the inaugural members of its Distinguished Fellows program. Several of the names will be familiar to long-time readers of The Rural Blog.

"The program will fund the reporters’ salaries and benefits for three years as they produce important investigative projects from their home newsrooms on topics affecting their communities," ProPublica says. "An outgrowth of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network — which since 2018 has similarly funded local accountability reporting projects for one year across more than 40 local newsrooms to date — the longer-term Distinguished Fellows program will enable reporters to pursue a broad range of stories while deepening ProPublica’s relationship with the partner newsrooms and their communities. These partnerships will start on Jan. 1, 2021, and run through Dec. 31, 2023."

Here are a few of the newly announced fellows who write about issues with rural resonance:
  • Ken Ward Jr., who left the Charleston Gazette-Mail this year and joined ProPublica to co-found the investigative news non-profit Mountain State Spotlight. Ward won a MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" and the Institute for Rural Journalism's Tom and Pat Gish Award.
  • Kyle Hopkins, special projects editor of the Anchorage Daily News and a member of the Local Reporting Network, who worked for small-town newspapers across Alaska. The ADN's investigation into the sexual assault crisis in rural Alaska, mainly led by Hopkins, won the paper and ProPublica a Pulitzer Prize in 2020.
  • Molly Parker, a reporter for The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale, has been a member of the Local Reporting Network since 2018, and has written about failures in government oversight of public housing. "In her continuing work in partnership with ProPublica, Parker plans to focus on challenges facing the diverse rural communities that make up the Mid-South Illinois region she calls home," ProPublica reports.

No comments: