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

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Report for America (RFA)

Deadline Date:



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Grants to USA and territories public and private local news organizations, including TV and radion 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 reporters in the field today are covering critically important beats in 49 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam.

Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. An initiative of the nonprofit media organization, The GroundTruth Project, is structured to harness the skills and idealism of an emerging group of journalists plus the creative spirit of local news organizations.

How it Works:

RFA pre-screens emerging journalists who meet your needs, and pays half their salary. The applicant and local donors split the rest, though RFA can help raise the local share. The applicant makes the final reporter selection.

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.

These are the main criteria:

  • Is there an important need? (Are there under-covered topics, communities or geographic areas?)
  • What is the beat you’ll create to deploy RFA corps members to help fill your news gap?
  • Can you provide the local match? (see below)
  • Do you 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)

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 197894

Estimated Size of Grant:

RFA pays 50% of the salary the first year, with a cap of $25,000 for emerging reporters (less than 8 years’ experience) and $30,000 for experienced reporters (those with 8 or more years’ experience.) RFA pays 33% of the salary the second year, and 20% the third year, with no cap.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

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-Application Information:

Prospective newsrooms have until Sept. 30, 2021 to apply.

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

RFA reviewers will assess applications through October and schedule newsroom interviews via Zoom in October and November. We’ll announce winning newsrooms in early December. We’ll then run a competition for corps members. Host newsrooms will select among a slate of candidates we choose, and they’ll start in your newsroom the first week of June 2022.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

For questions, email RFA Operations Director David Reed Fox at

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)

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