Report for America is partnering with The Public’s Radio (formerly Rhode Island Public Radio) to place a journalist in Newport to cover race and poverty.
That news came today when Report for America, “a national service program that places talented, emerging journalists into local news organizations to report for one to two years on under-covered issues and communities”, announced that it will field 250 emerging journalists in 164 host news organizations to serve local communities across 46 states in the coming year.
An initiative of The GroundTruth Project, Report for America addresses an urgent need in journalism at a time when news deserts are widening across the country, leaving communities uninformed on local issues and threatening our democracy like never before.
The program announced the winning newsrooms today—full list here—and will select the corps members in a separate application process for journalists that also kicks off today.
“We offer a pretty simple fix for news holes in communities throughout the country—local reporters on the ground, who hold leaders accountable and report on under-covered issues,” said Steven Waldman, president and co-founder of Report for America in a press release today. “The editors we’ve met during our application cycle have shown us amazing passion, commitment and sharp ideas for how to better serve their local communities.”
Newsrooms were selected through a rigorous national competition. Each application was evaluated at least 4 times by some 50 judges—industry leaders including former editors and reporters, journalism professors, and more.
Applications are being accepted now until Jan. 31 for the reporting slots. They will be chosen in a selective national competition. Journalists and their newsroom pairings will be announced in April. Some 50 reporters in the 2019 class will be staying on another year. Journalists start work in their new newsrooms in June.
Corps members will attend Report for America’s intensive training in June, at a site to be determined, before joining their newsrooms to launch their first year of service.
The Public’s Radio in Newport
Back on May 20, 2019, The Public’s Radio announced that they would be opening bureaus in the near future in Westerly and in Newport.
Torey Malatia, CEO of Rhode Island Public Radio (RIPR), dba The Public’s Radio, and Andrea Rounds, Executive Director of the Newport Performing Arts Center (NPAC) announced then that their organizations had reached a tentative agreement to share space in the offices of the Newport Performing Arts Center at 11 Touro Street on Washington Square. The office suite is next door to the 1867 Opera House Theater, which NPAC is restoring and adapting to a state-of-the-art multi-purpose theater.
“It’s a great fit. The Public’s Radio and NPAC share the same mission to build bridges in our communities,” said Torey Malatia in a statement back in May, who is establishing three regional news bureaus in the Rhode Island region to provide more in-depth reporting. The Public’s Radio opened a South Coast bureau in New Bedford in mid-March. Malatia hopes the Newport bureau will open within the year, followed by a South County bureau in Westerly, RI.
“We hope that sharing offices will be just the start of a long-term, meaningful collaboration,” said Andrea Rounds in a statement back in May. “Both organizations are committed to contributing to the civic, cultural and economic health of Newport’s diverse communities.”