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Grants to USA Public and Private Local News Organizations to Cover Salary Costs for Early-Career Journalists

Host Newsroom Program


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Report for America (RFA)
Array ( [0] => Guam (USA); [1] => Puerto Rico (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);

Important Dates
Deadline: 09/18/23 Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA and territories public and private local news organizations, including TV and radio stations, newspapers, journalism schools, digital sites, and media centers, to cover salaries for early-career journalists to join the staff. Funding is intended to support local organizations that are committed to providing objective, civically important local journalism. RFA especially encourages applications from the following newsrooms: for-profit, independent newsrooms, rural newsrooms, and Black-owned, Latino-owned, and AAPI-owned newsrooms.

How it Works

Report for America pre-screens early career journalists who meet the newsroom's needs, and the applicant chooses the hire. RFA pays half their salary, up to $25,000 (the cap is $30,000 for very experienced journalists) and provides them with ongoing training and support while they work for the applicant. Meanwhile, RFA provides the newsroom with curriculum and coaching to help it fundraise for its share of the salary. 

These are the main criteria:

  • Is there an important need? (Are there under-covered topics, communities or geographic areas?)
  • What is the beat the applicant will create to deploy RFA corps members to help fill the news gap?
  • Can applicants provide the local match?
  • Do applicants provide good editing and mentoring?

Other factors include having the following:

  • A way to distribute the content for maximum impact
  • A good plan for assessing success
  • A commitment to trust-building behaviors (transparency of process, transparency of article types)

Corps members range from right out of college/grad school, to five to seven years of journalistic experience. The average age of current corps members is 27. RFA tries hard to match the news organization and the beat with a corps member whose experience and skills will allow them to succeed from Day One.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
What news organizations are eligible?
Any news organization that is committed to providing objective, civically important local journalism. That could include public radio stations, newspapers, digital narrative sites, commercial TV stations, community media centers, or journalism schools providing direct journalism. The organization can be nonprofit or commercial.

Pre-Proposal Conference
Upcoming Information Sessions
- July 19, 2023 | 3:30 pm ET
- July 27, 2023 | 3:30 pm ET
- August 10, 2023 | 3:30 pm ET
- August 17, 2023 | 3:30 pm ET
- September 6, 2023 | 3:30 pm ET
- September 14, 2023 | 3:30 pm ET
- September 27, 2023 | 3:30 pm ET

See the Full Grant Text RFP link for registration links.

Pre-Application Information
The application window opens for newsrooms on Monday, July 10, 2023. The deadline is Monday, September 18. RFA reviewers will assess applications through October and schedule newsroom interviews via Zoom in October and November. RFA will announce winning newsrooms in early December. They will then run a competition for corps members. Host newsrooms will select among a slate of chosen candidates, and they’ll start in July, 2024.

The window to apply for consideration as a host newsroom typically opens in July each year and closes in September. Report for America reviewers will assess applications through October and schedule virtual interviews via Zoom in October and November. RFA will announce winning newsrooms in December, and open the corps member application cycle. Host newsrooms will select among a slate of candidates chosen, and they’ll start in your newsroom the first week of June.

Local share:
This term refers to the money you raise in the community to support this reporting position. One of the goals of this program is to encourage local philanthropy to support journalism in a bigger way. RFA also believes that successful news organizations will have to build stronger community support in general whether its through membership, subscriptions, events or philanthropy. So RFA strongly encourages news organizations to involve the community to support the RFA corps member.

Please fill out only one application, even if you're requesting multiple corps members.


Estimated Size of Grant
Benefits of Becoming a Host Newsroom
- RFA will recruit for the newsroom a slate of journalists passionate about the beat that was designated as a coverage need.
- RFA will help show the newsroom new ways to raise money locally. Some of the host newsrooms have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in just a few years.
- RFA pays half the journalist’s salary the first year, a third of the salary the second year and 20% the optional third year.
- The newroom gains access to a network of over 200 like-minded host newsrooms to collaborate with and use as a resource.
- Through the partnership, the newsroom will ultimately expand and grow more sustainable.

Contact Information

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