Report for America attempts to revitalize local news by deploying extraordinary emerging journalists. But local journalism will not survive without the involvement—and the leadership—of thousands of established journalists, editors and teachers who have significant experience and wisdom.
We are now issuing a call to experienced reporters, editors and teachers to help revitalize local news by working with emerging journalists and innovative newsrooms. We offer a range of opportunities from short-term volunteer efforts as judges to modestly compensated positions as trainers. All of them are crucially important.
We view the experienced journalists who take on these assignments as ambassadors in a broader sense. For instance, last year our judges played a crucial role in spreading the word to prospective candidates—reaching out to emerging journalists or colleagues in the profession.
The time commitments vary depending on the role. In general, we can use whatever time you can spare. Most of these roles have no financial compensation. There are some exceptions. The judges who go beyond application review and do video interviews of finalists get a small stipend. We provide travel expenses for trainers and recruiters. And, of course, swag for everyone.
Our judges are central to the success of Report for America. We only succeed if we pick great corps members and news organizations—and that will only happen if outstanding judges help us (as they’ve done in the past). Next year we intend to field 300 corps members, and we will need judges to assess both reporters and newsrooms. We expect the time commitment to be roughly seven hours. Newsroom judging will take place mid-September through mid-November. Corps member judging will take place in February and early March. Check out our FAQ for judges.
We want each of our corps members to benefit from the wisdom and guidance of an experienced mentor. In some cases, it will be someone who has covered the same beat as the Report for America corps member. In other cases it might be someone who has comparable career experience. And in other cases it might be someone who is in the same state or region as the reporter. We’re asking mentors to make a commitment of at least four calls or meetings per year for one year.
Do you have a special expertise (or background) that would be useful to our corps members or a special sub-section of our corps members (e.g. health care reporters, Native American journalists, etc)? Our training efforts have two main tracks. We gather the entire corps for intensive training at the beginning of each service year, in June. Then we also have monthly virtual gatherings (and some in-person ones). Would you be a good guest speaker? Or a trainer for June, 2021? Some of these are for the full corps, some are for smaller groups.
For Report for America to achieve its goal of getting an extra 1,000 reporters in the field by 2024, we’ll need to raise the money to make it happen. Might you be interested in establishing or joining a state or regional fundraising committee? Mobilizing these resources yourself?
Would you like to represent Report for America in communities or universities near you? Let us know.
Dear news organization, we’d like to extend an invitation to you to apply to become a host newsroom with us at Report for America. We're a nonprofit national service program for journalism that partners with newsrooms to help cover under-reported topics and under-covered communities. We find talented journalists for newsrooms, pay part of their salary, and offer training support. You can learn more details here.
You stand the best chance of becoming a Report for America host newsroom if in this application you can show:
NEED—Tell us why the beat you're proposing is vital to your audience and to the community. We're particularly interested in important beats that no other newsroom in your area is covering, or covering well. Also, why do you need our help to support this position?
SUPPORT—We look for newsrooms where corps members will receive good editing and mentoring, so they can do their best work.
A COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION – Newsrooms that demonstrate a commitment to inclusion and supporting a diverse staff is important in our selection process.
A COMMITMENT TO FUNDRAISING—We ask our host newsrooms, where applicable, to try to raise money from local funders to pay for part of their corps member's salary. Our development team can help you do this. We believe local philanthropy is key to strong local newsrooms and want to work with partners that believe this, too.
DEADLINE TO APPLY: Host newsroom candidates should plan to submit their application on or before the deadline of October 3, 2022.
While we are very interested in entertaining newsroom applications from across the US, we do have a focus on supporting Black-owned and Latino-owned newsrooms and expanding our reach into the following states: FL, NJ, WY, UT, OK, WV, ID, ND, KY, AR, TN, SD, TX and CA.
This application is for prospective newsrooms applying for their first Report for America corps member or members, and current host newsrooms applying for one or more additional corps members. Please fill out only one application, even if you're requesting multiple corps members.
Do not use this form to renew your current corps member; we'll send you separate paperwork for that in early 2023.
QUESTIONS? Email Tim Lampley, Recruitment Manager at email@example.com.