BOSTON, Feb. 18, 2020 — The GroundTruth Project announced today the launch of Report for the World, its newest service program, and issued a call for applications for local journalists to serve communities in Nigeria and India.
The program launch coincides with a moment in which local public service journalism is at risk globally. The dramatic economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted news organizations that were already under great stress.
Report for the World will match local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on under-covered issues around the globe, beginning with six “corps members” in two partner newsrooms this spring—Scroll.in in India and TheCable in Nigeria.
“The absence of local news— both here in the U.S. and in under-covered corners of the world—is a crisis for democracy,” said Charles Sennott, GroundTruth CEO and editor-in-chief. “Report for the World responds to this crisis by partnering with newsroom leaders who understand the critical role journalism can play giving a voice to the communities and issues that matter most.”
Report for the World corps members will become full-time employees of the host newsrooms for at least one year, renewable for a second and third year. Corps members, who are selected through a highly competitive process, receive world-class training and mentorship, and join an international network of journalists committed to transformative, on-the-ground reporting. Corps members will join their host newsrooms in April 2021. Report for the World aims to support 500 corps members in 20 countries by 2026.
Report for the World draws upon best practices learned from GroundTruth’s successful Report for America initiative which has expanded from 13 corps members in 2018 to some 300 who will join newsrooms this summer.
Likewise, Report for the World is based on a highly-leveraged financial model meant to inspire community philanthropy. The program will pay for half the full-time salary of a corps member for the first year, while coaching and supporting local partner newsrooms to raise the other half of the salary through philanthropy, earned revenue, and crowdfunding.
“We are very much delighted to be part of Report for the World as this offers us an excellent opportunity to deepen our reporting of underreported issues in our communities,” said Simon Kolawole, TheCable founder and CEO. “We are particularly enthusiastic at the impact we can make by reporting more extensively on the Nigerian criminal justice system and climate change, as well as tackling misinformation and disinformation.”
Report for the World also builds upon GroundTruth’s history of supporting more than 300 emerging journalists in 50 countries to produce award-winning journalism, and responds to a global call for more sustainable, more impactful and more local reporting.
“Media globally are going through a challenging time, particularly in terms of revenues, yet the value of quality reporting has perhaps never been higher,” said Koreel Lahiri, Media Development Investment Fund’s program director for South Asia and Report for the World advisory board member. “Providing practical support so journalists and newsrooms can produce powerful storytelling about some of the most critical issues of our time—like the environment, human rights and health—will help media better serve their audiences, hold the powerful to account and rebuild trust in journalism.”
Applications are now open for our inaugural corps until March 8. We are looking for talented, civically-minded journalists committed to informing their communities and holding the powerful accountable. The program will open a second round of placements later in the year, including an expansion to Latin America.
“Because of Report for the World, communities in Nigeria and India will now have access to more news and information on under-covered issues that will inform and engage them,” said Karen Toulon, GroundTruth board member.
The GroundTruth Project is supported in its global efforts by The Bake Family Trust, The Henry Luce Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Spring Point Partners, the Evelyn Y. Davis Foundation, Robin D’Alessandro, Susie Trees and Newman’s Own Foundation.
To learn more about Report for the World and its efforts to strengthen communities around the world through local journalism that informs, engages, and enables, visit www.reportfortheworld.org.
About The GroundTruth Project
The GroundTruth Project is an international nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to restoring journalism from the ground up, by supporting the next generation of local journalists to serve under-covered corners of the world. GroundTruth has supported 300 reporting fellowships in more than 50 countries and produced award-winning and impactful projects on social justice issues. In 2017, GroundTruth launched Report for America, now a finalist in the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change global competition.