Boise State Public Radio has been selected by Report For America to place a reporter in the radio network’s eastern region. The reporter will spend at least one year expanding Boise State Public Radio’s editorial coverage area, as part of a group of service-minded journalists fanning across the country.
Report for America recruits and trains young journalists and deploys them in news organizations across the country, helping bolster reporting in regions that often are overlooked. The organization added a special focus this year on news organizations in the intermountain West.
The Report for America corps member selected to work with Boise State Public Radio will be placed outside the Treasure Valley, with a geographic focus on the Magic Valley and Wood River Valley.
“This is a prestigious selection,” said Tom Michael, general manager of Boise State Public Radio. “We have broadcast sites in Twin Falls, Burley, Bellevue, Hailey, Sun Valley and Ketchum. Our members there are eager to help us raise the funds to maintain a stronger local reporting presence and expand our public media mission.”
Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, a nonprofit news organization, and it has received funding from Google News Lab, the Knight Foundation, the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, the Galloway Family Foundation and the Select Equity Fund.
“We believe that by putting reporters on the ground, in the communities, we will not only improve journalism but increase trust,” said Charles Sennott, co-founder of Report for America and chief executive officer and editor of The GroundTruth Project. “These emerging journalists are committed to public service and able to make a dramatic impact right away.”
Half of the reporter’s salary will be paid by Report for America, and half will be covered locally, typically split between newsrooms and local philanthropists. Corps members will be managed by editors in their local newsrooms and will be required to complete a public service project, such as working with student journalists.
Corps members are expected to join their newsrooms this summer. Report for America’s goal is to place 1,000 reporters in newsrooms within five years.
“The overwhelming response from both news organizations and prospective reporters is thrilling,” said Steven Waldman, president and co-founder of Report for America. “Clearly there’s a growing recognition that the crisis in local journalism poses a real threat to democracy and to the health of communities.”