‘Valley News’ wins grant-funded reporter, photographer placements from Report for America

  • A mock-up of a redesigned "Valley News" in West Lebanon, N.H., is shown on Jan. 28, 2019. The paper debuted its redesign in February 2019. (Valley News photo illustration - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Staff Report
Published: 12/2/2019 11:48:57 AM

WEST LEBANON — A national journalism program has selected the Valley News to host a reporter and a photojournalist next year as part of a large-scale effort to place journalists in local newsrooms.

Report for America, an initiative of the nonprofit The GroundTruth Project, on Monday announced the 164 winning newsrooms who will host 250 emerging journalists for one year, starting in June. The positions’ salaries will be half-funded through $5 million from Report for America. The newsrooms must cover the balance, which can be offset by community fundraising. 

The Valley News placements — a climate/environment reporter and a general news photographer — will be based out of the newspaper’s West Lebanon newsroom. Report for America is currently recruiting journalists to be paired with winning organizations across the country.

Local news has faced sharp declines in recent years as the internet has challenged traditional business models and media outlets have struggled to convert new digital readers into paying subscribers. A 2018 study from the University of North Carolina’s School of Media and Journalism found that more than 1,800 U.S. papers had closed in the 15 years prior, and nearly a third were rural newspapers, leaving “news deserts” in their wake. 

“We offer a pretty simple fix for news holes in communities throughout the country — local reporters on the ground, who hold leaders accountable and report on under-covered issues,” said Steven Waldman, president and co-founder of Report for America. “The editors we’ve met during our application cycle have shown us amazing passion, commitment and sharp ideas for how to better serve their local communities.”

In the Twin States, Vermont Public Radio, VtDigger, the Union Leader and the Valley News’ sister paper, the Concord Monitor, also earned placements.




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