The crisis in local journalism has become a crisis for democracy. News bureaus nationwide have shuttered. Editorial budgets have been slashed. Communities have suffered without coverage of important issues that affect them. Nearly 1,800 communities across the United States no longer have sufficient basic news coverage and thousands must turn to hollowed out newsrooms whose reporting resources have been decimated. In 2000, total newspaper advertising revenue generated $67 billion. By 2014, those revenues were less than one-third, just $20 billion. This led to mass layoffs nationwide. Between 2008 and 2019 it is estimated that 27,000 reporting jobs were lost.
Without local reporters to hold individuals in power accountable, communities experience greater polarization, lower voter turnout, more pollution, less government accountability, and less trust. Residents no longer get the information they need to understand the critical issues facing their community, to make good decisions for their family, and hold elected officials accountable.
Report for America is a movement to transform communities and strengthen democracy by eliminating American news deserts, reaching more than 200 million people nationwide.
Report for America will eliminate American news deserts by fielding 1,800 talented, diverse journalists in local news outlets throughout the country.
Report for America corps members serve their communities, reporting on under-covered beats like city hall, criminal justice, education, environment, health, poverty, and state legislatures. All corps members also complete a service project in the local community, building trust and better understanding those they serve. In 2020, Report for America deployed 225 reporters into communities and newsrooms. Report for America partners with more than 160 new organizations in 46 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. More than 40 percent of corps members are journalists of color and two-thirds are women. In contrast, people of color make up 16.5 percent of newsroom employees and women make up 39 percent. Report for America leverages a unique three-to-one funding match model promoting new models for shared investment in local journalism, sustaining watchdog reporting for the communities that need it most.
About Our Team
Report for America is led by a diverse and growing team of journalists, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit strategists who collectively draw upon decades of experience running newsrooms, scaling businesses, and cultivating young leaders.
Alison Bethel McKenzie, Director of Corps Excellence of Report for America
Anna Lin Mitchell, Chief Financial Officer/Interim Chief Operating Officer of The Ground Truth Project
Charles M. Sennott, CEO and Editor-in-Chief / Co-Founder of Report for America
Kevin Grant, Chief Content Officer / Vice President of Strategy of Report for America
Kim Kleman, National Director of Report for America
Steven Waldman, President and Co-Founder of Report for America