Over the past several years, economic pressures have reduced the ability of local and regional news organizations to support accountability reporting. That’s a challenge not just for journalism, but also for our democracy.
We’re committed to helping address that problem.
Earlier this year, we launched ProPublica Illinois, an initiative we hope to replicate in additional states in the coming years. Today, we’re announcing another part of our push: the ProPublica Local Reporting Network.
With support from a new three-year grant, we will pay salary plus an allowance for benefits for one full-time reporter dedicated to investigative work throughout 2018 at each of up to six partner news organizations in cities with population below 1 million. The reporter will still work in and report to their home newsroom, but they will receive extensive guidance and support from ProPublica. Their work will be published or broadcast by their home newsroom and simultaneously by ProPublica as well.
If you lead a newsroom and are interested in working with us, send us a proposal laying out:
- An investigative project. The proposed coverage can take any number of forms: a few long stories, an ongoing series of shorter stories, text, radio, video, or more. Please tell us why this coverage will be crucial to your community, any similar coverage that has been done before it, why this project has particular urgency now, and a plan for executing the work.
- The reporter who you ideally envision spearheading the work, and the market salary you would need to pay them for 2018. This could be someone already on staff or someone else, for example, a freelancer with whom you aspire to work. Please include a personal statement by the reporter explaining his or her interest, at least three clips of their prior best work, and, of course, a resume.
The deadline for applications is Nov. 3. Please submit your proposal using this form. If you have questions that aren’t answered here, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries will be judged by ProPublica editors, with advice from David Boardman, dean of Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication, and former executive editor of The Seattle Times. We expect that at least one winning proposal will come from Illinois. Winning proposals will be announced in December, to enable work to begin on Jan. 2.