Submit your best local accountability project ideas
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Last year, ProPublica introduced our Local Reporting Network to help create vital, investigative journalism in communities where such stories would otherwise not be done.
Now, as we enter our second year, we're once again looking for the best local accountability stories.
We will pay the salary, plus an allowance for benefits, for one full-time reporter dedicated to investigative work throughout 2019 at six or seven partner news organizations in cities with population below 1 million. We expect that at least one winning proposal will come from Illinois to complement our own local work at ProPublica Illinois. Applications are due Oct. 26, and selected reporters will begin work on Jan. 2 and work on their projects throughout 2019.
Earlier this fall, we also solicited proposals for an expansion of the Local Reporting Network, focused on state government. If you submitted an idea in that round, you should not submit the same idea here, but you are welcome to submit other ideas. Instead of having seven local reporting partners, we will have 13 or 14 next year.
If your organization is selected, the reporter will continue to work in your newsroom, but they will receive extensive guidance and support from ProPublica. Their work will be published or broadcast by your newsroom and simultaneously by ProPublica as well.
We particularly want to build capacity that news organizations would not otherwise have. We are not looking to fund day-to-day coverage of a beat, but instead to enable your organization to do ambitious accountability projects.
Applications should be submitted by newsroom leaders for a particular project and a specific reporter. If you lead a newsroom and are interested in working with us, we’d like to hear from you about:
An investigative project. The proposed coverage can take any number of forms: a few long stories, an ongoing series of shorter stories, text, radio, video, or more. Please tell us why this coverage will be crucial to your state, any similar coverage that has been done before it, why this project has particular urgency now, and a plan for executing the work. Please also explain why your state and your newsroom is the right place to tell this particular story.
The reporter who you ideally envision spearheading the work, and the market salary you would need to pay them for 2019. This could be someone already on staff or someone else — for example, a freelancer with whom you aspire to work. Please include a personal statement by the reporter explaining his or her interest, at least three clips of their prior best work, and, of course, a resume.
The deadline for applications is Oct. 26. Please submit your proposal using this form. If you have questions that aren’t answered here, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. ProPublica reporters and editors are willing to give you feedback on your idea before you apply. Entries will be judged principally by ProPublica editors. Winning proposals will be announced in December, to enable work to begin on Jan. 2.
You can email us your draft or any other questions you have.