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Client Spotlight – Report for America

In October, we welcomed Report For America into the fold. We recently sat down with Steve Waldman, President and co-Founder, to discuss RFA’s work with the Hub.

What does Report For America do?

Report For America places talented emerging journalists into local newsrooms around the country, to cover under-reported communities and issues—with the goal of improving local coverage and the public trust of the news media. We do this work to help address the crisis of local news, which is really a crisis of democracy. Loosely modeled on Teach for America and other organizations like it, Report For America placed its first 13 reporters into news outlets this year—and we’ll place a new class of 28 in 2019. (The deadline for news organizations to apply is October 31!)

Report For America is an initiative of the GroundTruth Project—an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization based at WGBH in Boston, dedicated to supporting the next generation of journalists in the U.S. and around the world.

Why did you join the Hub?

As part of our efforts to support local newsrooms, we’re working to help them create crowdfunding campaigns—and we’re excited to have the Hub help with these efforts. There is a need for independent news organizations to be able to attract donations from their communities, and we want to prove this is possible. These local fundraising efforts will help expand the capacity of local news, hopefully with some permanence. We also plan to work with the Hub on a membership strategy to build Report For America itself into a national network of people who support local public service journalism.

Your organization is a bit different from the other Hub clients. What do you bring to the community that’s unique?

Our model is based strictly on partnerships; other than regular newsletters, we’re mostly not creating our own content. Our success depends on us helping local news organizations to succeed.

What do you hope to get out of your membership in the Hub?

All of the Hub members are in the same boat—trying to convince the public of the importance of local news and creating sustainable models for it. We’re glad to be a part of this collective effort.


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