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The race to fill local newsrooms

Posted by   /  December 2, 2019  /  No Comments

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

By Sara Fischer | Axios

Efforts to fill local newsrooms are ramping up as the industry continues to face rapid cuts, consolidation and closures.

Why it matters: The death of local news in America is routinely cited as one of the country’s biggest threats to democracy. With fewer opportunities in local journalism and less job security at the local level, finding talent to fill local newsrooms has become a center of focus.

Driving the news: Report for America, an organization that places emerging journalists into local newsrooms, said Monday that it’s on pace to place 250 journalists in 164 local newsrooms in 2020.

The group’s announcement marks one of the largest single-day hiring announcements for journalists at the local level. It says that this commitment is more than four ties the size of its 2019 class.

Many of the journalists will be assigned to beats that have withered with the local news crisis, like local government, veterans issues, military bases and housing.

AP and Report for America announced last week as a part of this initiative that it would place 14 reporters in state legislatures across the country.

Other groups are investing record amounts of money into local news. In total, about $1 billion has been committed to solving the local news problem over the next few years.


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