Report for the World expands its global network of independent newsrooms

BOSTON, Sept. 22, 2022 —Report for the World today announced the selection of 11 new host newsrooms, an expansion of its global presence to five new countries: Mexico, Peru, Hungary, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe. Report for the World will continue to deepen its presence in its inaugural countries, Brazil, Nigeria and India.

Additionally, newsrooms are opening applications for journalists within those countries. With an ambitious goal of doubling the number of corps members, the expanded cohort reflects geographic and language diversity, as well as different sizes and approaches — from community-focused, hyper-local media to cross-border outlets looking at regional links.

Report for the World, an initiative of the award-winning nonprofit The GroundTruth Project, is made possible by founding partners the MacArthur Foundation and Google News Initiative, along with family foundations and individual donors around the world. The program will forge its first partnerships in Eastern Europe, specifically Ukraine and Hungary, thanks to essential support from Microsoft.

“Report for the World is an innovative and exciting initiative focused on rebuilding journalism capacity around the world. New hybrid models for journalism like the ones from the GroundTruth Project are vitally important to ensuring a healthy information ecosystem, a critical component of a healthy democracy,” said Eric Prock, Senior Director of Journalism Initiatives for Microsoft.

The announcement comes on the heels of a UNESCO report revealing that independent media across the world are facing a combination of pressures, from government repression to collapsing revenue models and rampant disinformation.

“Report for the World is scaling to help independent media cover critical beats and meet the growing challenges faced by local newsrooms across the world,” said Preethi Nallu, Global Director at Report for the World. “While the program expands to five new countries, we look forward to building even stronger partnerships in our inaugural countries.”

The newsrooms will cover under-reported areas such as climate change, environment, criminal and social justice, education, healthcare, and civil liberties. Report for the World will provide salary and training support; however, the newsrooms will remain editorially independent.

They are:

  • Brazil: Agência Pública – Centro de Jornalismo Investigativo
  • Brazil: Agência Mural de Jornalismo Das Periferias
  • Brazil: ((o))eco
  • Hungary: Atlatszo
  • India: The News Minute
  • Mexico: Conexión Migrante
  • Mexico: Quinto Elemento Lab
  • Nigeria: Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ)
  • Peru: Asociación Convoca
  • Ukraine: Ukrainska Pravda
  • Zimbabwe: The Citizen Bulletin

“Report for the World is proud to partner with these leading, incredibly resilient newsrooms representing the highest editorial standards,” said Kevin Grant, Co-Founder and Chief Partnerships Officer at The GroundTruth Project. “We see this as a global movement to protect and grow independent media.”

The need for support is significant in countries like Zimbabwe, with deep socio-economic disparities between different regions, where locally based journalists provide vital and life-saving information to local communities. The Citizen Bulletin will cover public health and the environment.

“We are focusing on these beats not just because they are undercovered but because this is where we believe consistent local reporting could have the most impact. For most underserved communities, access to public health and how changes in the environment play out in their livelihoods — this is everyday “politics,” said Divine Dube, CEO of the Citizen Bulletin.

In India, the expansion will see more coverage in the southern parts of the country, with The News Minute, a renowned, women-led digital publication introducing three corps members to its newsroom.

“Caste and gender continue to be the greatest barriers to accessing civil liberties in India several decades after we achieved self-rule. We at The News Minute, in collaboration with GroundTruth, have resolved to address this anomaly head-on by appointing three journalists, each of whom will focus all their attention exclusively on these areas,” explained Dhanya Rajendran, co-founder of the platform.

With a close eye on the impact of the invasion of Ukraine on eastern Europe, Report for the World is introducing an established Ukrainian publication, Ukrainska Pravda to our global cohort. In recognition of its consistent, community-focused coverage of the war, Ukrainska Pravda (UP) shared the Free Media Pioneer Award, at the International Press Institute World Congress held this September in New York.

GroundTruth Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Charles Sennott, who serves on the North American Committee of the International Press Institute, said, “This award is much-deserved recognition for UP’s history of courageous and independent reporting, challenging the tyranny and corruption of Russia and now reporting on the frontlines of the war. GroundTruth is proud to count UP as a partner in our Report for the World program and honored to support their work in the field and help them nurture a new generation of journalists who will take up the mission to serve Ukraine with reporting that is independent, fierce and fair.”

Report for the World plans to welcome 15 reporters to these host newsrooms in November, bringing the total number of reporters working worldwide to 30. Looking ahead, it will also concentrate on further building regional capacity.

“Over 2023, we will expand to other countries in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia that are setting high standards for public interest journalism and transforming into regional centers for media innovation, despite highly restrictive environments,” Nallu said.

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About Report for the World

Report for the World is an international journalism program that matches local newsrooms with talented journalists to report on undercovered issues around the globe. By creating a more sustainable and impactful media ecosystem, Report for the World informs, engages, and enables communities through public service journalism. Report for the World is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up.