Friday, July 16, 2021

Report for America accepting host newsroom applications; seeking rural newsrooms to help thwart 'news deserts'

Report for America is especially seeking rural newsrooms as it accepts applications for newsrooms to host reporters and editors next summer. Click here to apply.

Rick Edmonds reports for Poynter that the program is in its fifth year and "has partially funded roughly 300 journalists this year. That number will substantially expand, president and co-founder Steve Waldman told me, but he is not sure yet by how much, depending on funding and other factors. Report for America typically places journalists early in their careers, but last year it added slots for some more experienced reporters and editors. It had 1,800 applications for 130 new positions in 2021 (some of the 300 are being funded for a second or third year). Organizations hoping to receive reporters also go through a competitive screening process."

Waldman said the program will emphasize rural placements because of expanding "news deserts" that leave areas underserved. "You have to be strong there if you are going to tackle the problem," he told Edmonds. "We also see it as a way to make an impact on the issue of polarization. … Our premise is that the vacuums in local journalism are being filled by national news and disinformation."

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