WBHM Selected As A Report For America Host Newsroom

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WBHM is pleased to announce that it has been selected as a Report for America host newsroom partner and will join an expanding network of more than 200 newsrooms benefiting from the support of this nonprofit program.

Through this partnership, WBHM will expand its coverage of education in Birmingham.

“The disruption to education during the coronavirus pandemic has been one of the greatest challenges facing our communities. It affects families, educators, and the larger economy,” WBHM News Director Gigi Douban said. “We’re honored to have been selected as a Report for America newsroom, a designation that will ultimately serve to strengthen our coverage of this vital beat and provide more of the in-depth journalism our audience values.”

The selections were made mostly on the basis of which newsrooms defined the most compelling gaps in coverage and plans to deploy corps members well. But the bottom-up approach did produce certain new patterns.

  • Report for America doubled the number of host newsrooms owned by people of color
  • More than one third of the beats are covering communities of color, reflecting a surge in demand from newsrooms to address previously neglected beats
  • Half of the newsrooms are nonprofits

“With the local news system shrinking, it’s important that we both put more and more reporters in the field—and that we help newsrooms that are working toward becoming more sustainable and more grounded in the community,” said Steve Waldman, president and co-founder of Report for America. “It’s particularly gratifying that newsrooms have, en masse, decided that they want to do better coverage of communities of color.”

Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. An initiative of The GroundTruth Project, a nonprofit media organization, it is structured to harness the skills and idealism of an emerging group of journalists plus the creative spirit of local news organizations—like ours.

Journalists interested in this position can apply here, by Jan. 31, 2021. 

Report for America is a two-year program (with an option for three) that delivers a wide-range of benefits to its corps members. Beyond paying up to half of the journalists’ salaries, it provides ongoing training and mentoring by leading journalists, peer networking, and memberships to select professional organizations.

We look forward to welcoming our new Report for America corps member in June 2021. Please consider supporting this vital mission to preserve local news by donating to our Local Journalism Innovation Fund here.

Report for America announced more than 60 new newsroom partners in a press release. To learn more about Report for America and its mission to strengthen our communities and our democracy through local journalism that is truthful, fearless, fair and smart, visit www.reportforamerica.org.

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