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Report For America selects BPR as host newsroom for reporting partnership in 2024

Young woman wearing black headphones takes notes on a spiral notebook at a table with another woman holding a microphone.
Screengrab courtesy of RFA

Report For America (RFA) announced today that Blue Ridge Public Radio (BPR) will be a host newsroom for an early-career journalist to report on Western North Carolina communities as part of a cohort with other journalists across the state in 2024.

RFA, which started in 2018, is a national service program that places journalists in local news organizations to report on under-reported issues in often-overlooked communities.

RFA will pay half of these journalists’ salaries, and its local news partners will pay another portion. Together, RFA and the local groups will work together to find local and regional funders to contribute the remainder.

This is the first year for the statewide cohort, a pilot program for RFA. Journalists from public radio station WHQR in Wilmington, The Assembly in Greensboro, IndyWeek in Durham, and CityView in Fayetteville, will work together on issues of regional importance. The cohort will also have training opportunities throughout the year.

"Report for America's support of a five-city journalism cohort is exciting news,” said Cierra Hinton, Executive Director and Publisher at Scalawag. “Stories in one city - like Asheville - matter to the state as a whole and this collaborative set of reporters will mean better journalism for 10.5 million North Carolinians."

The reporter will serve at least one year at BPR, with the opportunity to continue for second and third years. RFA will screen applicants and BPR will select from four to five candidates. After training with RFA, the journalist will start in July 2024, producing regional news reports to air on bpr.org and on BPR News.

“We are thrilled to not only have the opportunity for an RFA fellow to serve in our community, but also to be part of this unique cohort of collaborating newsrooms,” said BPR News Director Laura Lee. “The structure will give our reporter even more support and the opportunity to learn.”

Journalists interested in this position can submit their application by January 31, 2024. Report for America will host several information sessions between now and then.

To learn more, visit reportforamerica.org/apply or contact recruitment@reportforamerica.org.

Erin Adams served as BPR's first Director of Audience from August 2023 to February 2024.
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