To encourage more investigative reporting in local newsrooms and to help local reporters hone those skills, Report for America is partnering with Investigative Editing Corps to oversee up to 10 projects over the next two years in its host newsrooms.
Today, the organizations are announcing the first five newsroom partners, which were selected among newsrooms that applied for this opportunity earlier this year. Other projects will be selected on a rolling basis.
“This collaboration is all about helping local news organizations produce stories that matter to their communities,” said Rose Ciotta, founder of Investigative Editing Corps. “It also allows experienced editors to help train the next generation of investigative reporters at a time when democracy demands strong fact-based reporting.”
“We had a lot of interest among our host newsrooms and corps members for this help,” said Kim Kleman, executive director of Report for America. “They pitched terrific story ideas, but acknowledged little bandwidth and/or experience to see them through. We’re thrilled to be able to satisfy this need.”
Projects will last three to six months. Each project has been assigned a freelance investigative editor or editors, who work directly with the project team and newsroom leadership. Ciotta will manage the effort.
Selected newsrooms and teams include the following: (For competitive reasons, topics are not being disclosed at this time.)
- Black Voice News and inewsource, CA, and reporters Prince James Story, Breanna Reeves and photographer/writer Aryana Noroozi. Data journalist Jill Castellano from inewsource is working with the team, as well. Editor Susan Smith Richardson is leading the project.
- The Concord Monitor, NH, and reporter Michaela Towfighi with Editor Deborah Nelson and Data Editor Sean Mussenden.
- KVPR, Valley Public Radio, CA, and reporter Joshua Yeager with Editor Mia Zuckerkandel.
- The Maine Monitor, ME, and reporter Samantha Hogan with Editor Alan Miller and Deputy Editor Michael Wagner.
The partnership is made possible through a generous grant from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation.
Ciotta and Hogan will be describing the initiative during a panel on “Efforts to Save Local News” at the national conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors in Orlando on June 24 at 10:15 a.m. ET.
Ciotta is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who co-edited “Assault on Learning,” which won The Philadelphia Inquirer the 2012 Gold Medal for Public Service. She is the investigations and projects editor for EdSource, an award-winning education news web site. A John S. Knight Journalism Fellow, Ciotta has served on the IRE board.
About Report for America
Report for America is a national service program that places talented emerging journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities across the United States and its territories. By creating a new, sustainable model for journalism, Report for America provides people with the information they need to improve their communities, hold powerful institutions accountable, and restore trust in the media. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up.