Taking a page from the Peace Corps and Teach for America, Report for America (RFA) is an organization whose primary goal is to bring community journalism back to our communities.
There is no question that newsrooms today are shrinking, that the editorial staff is asked to do more with less. And what tends to suffer in that case is community news.
A community service initiative of the GroundTruth Project, RFA’s goal is to send outstanding up and coming journalists into newsrooms around the country to report on topics that at this point are going unreported. The way it is structured will harness the skill and idealism of the journalists with the creative talent at local news organizations.
This is a nonprofit effort with very strict guidelines. Based at WGBH, the flagship of PBS in Boston, RFA is committed to ensuring that the journalism created by its corps members is free from undue influence by funders. The news organizations hosting RFA corps members will have sole editorial control over the content created for them by corps members and make all publishing decisions.
There are just a handful of newsrooms committed so far to take in a RFA journalist. With funding provided by GroundTruth and other donors, it seems like a win-win for everyone – quality journalists have the opportunity to do good work and our newsrooms get content that they might not otherwise have.
I don’t have a connection to this organization. But I do think we can all benefit from it. Here’s how to get involved, https://www.reportforamerica.org/join-the-movement-1.