Breanna Reeves |
For a second year in a row, Black Voice News was announced as a Report for America host newsroom for the 2022-23 class of new corps members. As Black Voice News renews their partnership with Report for America, the program adds 70 more newsrooms to the growing enterprise.
An initiative of The GroundTruth Project, Report for America is a national service program that partners emerging journalists with local newsrooms across the U.S. The goal of the organization is to strengthen local communities and democracy by investing in regional reporting.
As applications open for more newsrooms, Report for America will expand its arsenal of reporters to 325 in 2022. From 3 news reporters in 2017 to nearly 300 reporters in 2020, Report for America aims to place 1,000 reporters in newsrooms by 2024 in order to “fundamentally transform local news business models and ecosystems.” This goal begins with investing in local newsrooms like the Black Voice News.
“The Report for America program has been instrumental in providing needed newsroom support to help us provide quality information to our community,” said Black Voice News Publisher Paulette Brown-Hinds. “Our first experience with (Report for America) has been extremely positive and we’re looking forward to welcoming two more full-time journalists to the team.”
Black Voice News submitted a proposal for two journalists to cover two new beats: environmental justice and criminal justice — two issues that greatly impact the communities throughout San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
The added support to news coverage of these issues will allow the editorial team to further investigate the regional air quality’s impact on health, the consequences of the booming warehouse industry on communities of color, and the impacts of a changing climate on the community’s well-being.
In addition, it will expand the publication’s ability to focus more intently on local issues related to equity in criminal justice, as well as the lack of transparency regarding questionable actions by local police and sheriff deputies. The reporter will also highlight ongoing efforts by local citizens, nonprofit organizations, and local leaders to seek solutions to these persistent concerns.
The expansion of the Black Voice News editorial team within the next year also coincides with the newsroom’s 50th anniversary. Founded by students at the University of Riverside, California who recognized an absence of coverage of the Inland Empire’s Black community, the Black Voice News, will be celebrating 50 years of community-centered news in 2022.
Under the tutelage of managing editor Stephanie Williams and Brown-Hinds, the newsroom is shifting toward emphasizing solutions-based journalism that incorporates data-driven research and justice-seeking investigative reporting.
“This will be the first time in our 50-year history that we will have three full-time journalists working alongside our experienced editorial team,” explained Brown-Hinds.
In addition to supporting regional newsroom coverage and local journalists by paying up to half of the journalists’ salaries, the two-year placement supports reporters throughout the program by offering mentorships, training, peer networking and memberships to professional media organizations.
While Report for America will support half of the journalists’ salaries, Black Voice News will provide the other half. We encourage you to support the work the newsroom is doing by becoming a donor.