ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network is seeking six local accountability projects to fund and partner on from September 2021 through August 2022.
ProPublica will pay the salary, plus a benefits allowance, for reporters at partner news organizations. Each reporter will spend one year tackling an investigative project that is important to their communities. Projects can shine light on problems involving local governments, sheriffs, jails, companies or nonprofits, or on regional/state issues.
Reporters will collaborate with a ProPublica senior editor, and they can receive assistance with data analysis, research, design, audience development and engagement.
The new group of reporters will begin work on Sept. 1.
If your organization is selected, the reporter will continue to work in your newsroom but will receive extensive guidance and support from ProPublica. The work will be published or broadcast by your newsroom and simultaneously by ProPublica.
All local news organizations are eligible to apply. We are not looking to fund beat coverage, but instead to enable your organization to do ambitious accountability projects that would not otherwise be done.
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 community, 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 region and your newsroom are the right places to tell this particular story. (We tend to shy away from projects that could be told in multiple places.)
The reporter whom you envision spearheading the work, along with the market salary you would need to pay this person for a year starting in September 2021. 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 and, of course, a resume.
Freelancers are also welcome to apply, but they must find a news organization willing to publish their work and submit a joint application.
ProPublica reporters and editors are available to give you feedback on your idea before you apply. You can send your proposals to Local.Reporting@propublica.org no later than June 21, and someone will get back to you within a few days. Entries will be judged principally by ProPublica editors. Winning proposals will be announced in mid-summer to enable work to begin on Sept. 1.