The Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, a project of the Diederich College of Communication, has been selected to host a reporter for Report for America, which places talented emerging journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.
Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project. According to its website, the purpose of RFA is to address an urgent need in journalism at a time when news deserts are widening across the country, leaving communities uninformed on local issues and threatening our democracy like never before.
The NNS newsroom consists of six paid part-time reporters and editors and a cohort of community volunteers and student interns. The RFA reporter will cover health, looking at access to care, chronic diseases, mental health and other issues, as well as the role faith plays in the community.
“This is a big win for NNS because it will allow us to have our first full-time reporter based in our newsroom,” said Ron Smith, editor of the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. “Some of our readers are literally dying because of a lack of knowledge. We want to connect them with resources, illuminate issues and continue to celebrate the ordinary folks who are doing extraordinary things.”
Newsrooms were selected through a rigorous national competition. Each application was evaluated at least four times by some 50 judges—industry leaders who included former editors and reporters, journalism professors and more. RFA will field 250 journalists in 164 host news organizations to serve local communities across 46 states in the coming year. In addition to NNS, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and WTMJ-TV will also host Report for America journalists in Milwaukee.
The GroundTruth Project is an award-winning, independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization dedicated to supporting the next generation of journalists in the U.S. and around the world. Its mission is to restore journalism from the ground up by supporting the next generation of journalists through field reporting that serves under-covered corners of the United States and the world.