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Report for America welcomes newest corps members despite growing cuts to newsrooms across the country

Media Contact:
Sam Kille, Interim VP of Communications skille@reportforamerica.org, (631) 354-9190

NEW YORK, April 26, 2023— WMFE and WMFV in partnership with Report for America, have hired Lillian Hernández Caraballo to cover Housing and Homelessness in Central Florida. Housing and Homelessness are topics that touch every single person in this region and the goal of the non-profit, member-supported newsroom is to expand coverage of these issues, giving them the attention and thoughtfulness warranted to better understand this crisis and find solutions.

“WMFE/ WMFV is honored to welcome Hernández Caraballo to the team,” said News Director LaToya Dennis. “Hernandez Caraballo has the makings of a great journalist. She is passionate, driven and focused on getting the stories right. I could not have found a better person for this position.”

Report for America and news outlets across the country are able to make this investment in local news as newsroom layoffs continue to make headlines across the industry.

“WMFE/WMFV have impressively covered the huge territory of Central Florida for decades with a small and mighty team,” said Report for America Regional Manager Maria Elena Fernandez. "Because housing is such a complex national issue, and Central Florida is the epicenter of the crisis, Report for America chose to help these public radio stations get to the bottom of this long-term problem that impacts all Americans, especially low-income communities and people of color."

Report for America is pleased to announce that it will place more than 60 reporters and photojournalists in new positions at local newsrooms across the country this summer. These new corps members join hundreds more who will continue reporting on under-covered communities and topics for their second or third years in the national service program. Report for America has now matched more than 600 journalists with local newspapers, public radio stations, digital platforms, and television outlets, since its launch in 2017.

The corps remains diverse—nearly half are journalists of color and more than half are women. Report for America believes that by helping its partner newsrooms better reflect the communities they serve, they can strengthen trust in local media.

The corps members will begin their new assignments in July, arriving in newsrooms like the recently-launched Baltimore Banner, which is bringing back desperately needed coverage following cuts by hedge fund ownership at the city’s legacy newspaper; the Uvalde Leader-News, serving a Texas community still reeling from a devastating school shooting; Metro Puerto Rico, which looks to deepen its health reporting as the island faces an aging population and struggles to recover from recent hurricanes; and the People-Sentinel in Barnwell, S.C., which will open a bureau in a nearby county that no one’s covered in 10 years.

Report for America is also helping several newsrooms add religion reporters, has launched its first local sports corps in three newsrooms, and is expanding its photojournalism partnership with Catchlight. The reporting corps, new and returning, will work across a variety of newsrooms and mediums:

● Newspapers: 40.8%
● Digital only: 28%
● Radio: 20.8%
● Television: 2.4%
● News service: 8%

While many of the incoming corps members have produced award-winning work in prior newsrooms, Report for America collaborates with top journalists and journalism organizations to provide training opportunities that will help sharpen their skills, enrich their craft, and build resilience. Additionally, Report for America’s regional managers — deeply experienced, award-winning journalists — are assigned to support every corps member and partner newsroom.

“Today’s newsrooms have become so lean that it’s become difficult for them to provide the mentorship and support that early-career journalists might be seeking,” said Rachel Rohr, vice president of program development at Report for America. “By sharing resources and fostering opportunities for peer networking, we can strengthen their reporting and their well-being.”

Report for America also leverages an innovative three-to-one regional funding match model, paying up to half of a corps member's salary, while its local sustainability team trains newsroom partners to raise the other half from local funders. This approach promotes collaborative investment in local journalism, increasing the chances of sustaining watchdog community reporting, for the community, by the community.

Report for America’s work is made possible by the Knight Foundation, Google News Initiative, Microsoft,

Spring Point Partners, Natasha and Dirk Ziff, Joyce Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,

Walton Family Foundation in partnership with the Missouri School of Journalism, The Hearthland

Foundation, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Just Trust, Lumina Foundation, Posner Foundation,

Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Jonathan Logan Family Foundation,

Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation, Henry L. Kimelman Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, Tow Foundation, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, Park Foundation, Evelyn Y. Davis Foundation, and other leading philanthropic partners.

To learn more about Report for America and its efforts to strengthen communities through public service journalism, please visit www.reportforamerica.org.

About Report for America

Report for America is a national service program that places talented emerging journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities across the United States and its territories. By creating a new, sustainable model for journalism, Report for America provides people with the information they need to improve their communities, hold powerful institutions accountable, and restore trust in the media. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up.

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