WUSF News hires journalist as part of Report for America project
Gabriella Paul will focus on people living paycheck to paycheck in the greater Tampa Bay region.
WUSF Public Media has hired a journalist for a new reporting focus that will explore the personal stories of families and individuals living on the verge of poverty in the greater Tampa Bay region.
Gabriella Paul will lead the project and joins WUSF as part of Report for America, a national service corps dedicated to strengthening local journalism.
WUSF 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.
Paul will focus on people living paycheck to paycheck in the greater Tampa Bay region. The beat addresses a key part of Report for America’s mission to fill gaps in local news coverage.
“WUSF wants people from across the region in all types of communities to share their stories,” WUSF General Manager JoAnn Urofsky said. “These funds and Gabriella’s reporting will help illuminate the lives of people who are too often left on the margins.”
Paul has worked as a digital producer at WUFT News in Gainesville, and as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. She has previously been an investigative reporter, web producer and capitol correspondent for WUFT and The Gainesville Sun.
WUSF will zoom in on an often 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.
Paul's stories may explore familiar themes — including health, education, the environment and job security — but will be told from the perspective of people living these experiences, as many people may be unaware their neighbors and friends are living on the brink of poverty.
Report for America is a national service program whose mission is to help put more reporters in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues.
Report for America will have two other new positions in Florida, including one to be based at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and one at WJCT in Jacksonville, which, like WUSF, is a Florida Public Media member station.
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.