Following the success of placing 13 reporters in newsrooms across the country in 2018, Report for America is now focusing on the rapid increase of news deserts in California, which the program notes, has lost 73 newspapers since 2004. Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms across the country, including newspapers, radio stations and television stations. There are currently reporters in Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, New Mexico, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia.
In a press release, Steven Waldman, president of Report for America, said, “In this time of declining trust in journalism, it’s important that we remember: trust is a crop that is locally grown. More reporters on the ground will help repair the rupture between local media and the residents they serve.”
Report for America plans to place 10 reporters in California in 2019 and 20 the following year. The Annenberg Foundation and McClatchy Foundation are supporting the program in its latest mission, and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism will be collaborating with and training the reporters.
Although newsroom applications closed in November 2018, applications to become a corps member are due Feb. 1. Applications can be found at reportforamerica.org. The reporters will begin their work in June.