Local journalism is in crisis mode. The former ad-revenue-and-subscriber-dependent model can’t keep up with constant digital transformation, and many newsrooms across the country have been forced to lay off their boots-on-the-ground folks telling the stories of communities in flux. (Consider the bleak fact that coal miners are faring better than we are.)
And today, we’re excited to announce one way we’re growing: Starting late this spring, we’ll be bringing on another full-time reporter to cover economic development in the Baltimore region, thanks to support from the national journalism fellowship nonprofit Report for America.
For up to two years, an emerging journalist will be joining our newsroom to report specifically on issues of equity and access in the rapidly changing Maryland city. This fellow will report to Assistant Editor Stephen Babcock, who has been leading Technical.ly Baltimore’s coverage for nearly five years.
The landscape in Baltimore shows how national challenges are playing out on the ground: In the past few years, its net number of media outlets — and the number of reporters — has shrunk significantly, even as there has been an increased need for coverage of local issues, such as economic disparities, that are shaping the city. Additionally, leaders in more rural areas of Maryland look to us for coverage we can rarely support. This fellow will support our efforts in reporting on local employment and access issues — the tech economy impact beat, we’re calling it.
After a competitive application and interview process, we join the ranks of 163 other local news organizations representing each region of the country, and including public media, legacy outlets and other digital-only startups — all working to counter the siphoning of information sharing at the local level.
BREAKING: RFA is excited to announce our 2020-2021 host newsrooms! We are honored to partner with these outstanding 164 news organizations to field 250 emerging journalists — our largest corps member class ever! Click here for the full list of newsrooms: https://t.co/QLBSKkIlcB pic.twitter.com/fmiI0jpyCi
— Report for America (@Report4America) December 2, 2019
The fellow will be selected and named in April. In the meantime, we can’t wait to bring you more reporting on the issues shaping your local economy.
Psst — want to apply to be a Report for America reporting fellow? Apps are open until Jan. 31.
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