Challenge Grant Will Support Two New Reporters

Dec 2, 2019

Help Us Meet The Challenge!

Public radio news reporting in South Louisiana will expand in 2020 with the addition of two new reporting positions to the WWNO-WRKF combined news team. A national news nonprofit, Report for America, has awarded a challenge grant to WWNO that will support up to $20,000 of the salary expense for each of two reporters for up to two years. The remainder of the salary and benefits expense will be funded from philanthropic support, sponsorships, and listener contributions, beginning with listeners who give during WWNO’s and WRKF’s 2019 Year-End Drives, starting tomorrow December 3.

The Report for America grant will challenge local donors to support two news beats important to South Louisiana: a full-time reporter devoted to Louisiana state government news and a full-time reporter covering news in the bayou region of Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes. The state government reporter will be based in Baton Rouge and will build on WRKF’s statehouse coverage, heard in its current “Capitol Access” reporting. The new bayou parishes reporter will be based in Thibodaux and will cover a wide range of local news for KTLN local newscasts and for regional news coverage. Both reporters will be members of the combined WWNO-WRKF news team; their work will be heard on all three stations: 89.9 FM WWNO, 89.3 FM WRKF, and 90.5 FM KTLN.

Report for America (RFA) was established to address the decline in local journalism that is taking place across the United States as local newspapers and other news media consolidate or cease operations. The organization aims to help existing commercial and non-profit news media keep the public informed about local and state issues that will go unreported without urgent action and financial support. For 2020 RFA will support 250 journalists covering a wide range of news beats in 164 host news organizations across 46 states.

Report for America is funded by a group of national and regional philanthropic organizations, including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and others.

RFA coordinates a national search process to fill these reporting jobs, helping its participating news organizations to attract talented journalists to the locations where they can have the greatest impact. Applicants should apply directly to RFA by January 31 at reportforamerica.org/reporters for the 250 reporting positions, including the state government reporter and bayou parishes reporter positions in the WWNO-WRKF combined news team.