Report for America Helps Local Newsrooms Fill Gaps
Bill Loveless interviews Steve Waldman
Local news across the U.S. continues to struggle as the pandemic adds to the financial losses that newspapers, radio stations and other media have suffered for years. With declining revenue from advertising and subscriptions, news outlets have resorted to cutting deeply into the personnel in their newsrooms.
In this episode of Update-1, Broadcast Podcast team member Bill Loveless talks to Steve Waldman, the president and co-founder of Report for America, a nonprofit program that puts journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. Report for America placed 226 reporters in 46 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico in 2020, and aims to increase that number to 1,000 by 2024. It will begin accepting applications for its 2021-22 class in December.
Steve crafted the plan for Report for America after authoring a Federal Communications Commission report “Information Needs of Communities,” which NPR described as “one of the most comprehensive overviews of the U.S. media ever produced.” An experienced entrepreneur, he co-founded the multi-faith religion website Beliefnet.com and LifePosts.com, a platform for online memorials. Earlier, he was national editor of U.S. News & World Report and national correspondent for Newsweek.
Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit media organization.