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WUSF News joins Report for America to reverse the collapse of local journalism

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The WUSF reporter will focus on people living paycheck to paycheck in the greater Tampa Bay region, and addressing a key part of Report for America’s mission to fill gaps in local news coverage.

WUSF Public Media is joining a national service corps dedicated to strengthening local journalism.

Report for America today announced that WUSF News is one of almost 70 new host newsroom partners for 2022, helping grow a program that will now include 325 journalists in 270 newsrooms across the nation.

The WUSF reporter will focus on people living paycheck to paycheck in the greater Tampa Bay region, and addressing a key part of Report for America’s mission to fill gaps in local news coverage.

WUSF will zoom in on an oft overlooked part of our community: people who have jobs, but struggle to survive in a region where growth and a tourism-based economy creates a complex set of problems. Studies show that as many as a third of the region’s residents live in this vulnerable middle ground where they cannot afford basic household necessities.

It is one of three new Report for America positions in Florida, including one to be based at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and WJCT in Jacksonville, which like WUSF is a Florida Public Media member station.

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“Newsrooms across the country are pushing to cover essential local beats like schools and rural areas, at the same time they try to better represent all of the people in their communities,” Steven Waldman, president and co-founder of Report for America, said in a statement.

Report for America pays up to half of the journalists’ salaries and provides ongoing training and mentorship by leading journalists, peer networking, and memberships to select professional organizations.

Applications for the highly competitive corps are open and are being accepted until Jan. 31. Last year, more than 1,800 people applied, most early-career journalists. The program prioritizes having a corps that reflects the communities they serve, said Earl Johnson, director of admissions at Report for America.

“Report for America provides a unique opportunity for journalists to pursue meaningful, local beat reporting that sadly is missing from many of today’s newsrooms,” he said. “Beyond talented reporters and photojournalists, we are looking for a diversity of individuals who see journalism as a calling, who want to make a difference within their communities.”

To learn more about Report for America and how to apply to become a corps member, visit here.

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