Some groups step in to fill the gap in local news coverage


NEW YORK (AP) — Given the dramatic downsizing in local journalism, efforts are sprouting to match reporters with towns and topics left uncovered. Time will tell if they are the first signs of a turnaround, or fingers in the dike.

Among prominent donors for journalism projects in recent months are the Knight Foundation, Facebook and Craig Newmark, who made his fortune founding Craig’s List.



This so-called “venture philanthropy” organization was founded by two people who have successfully launched online news products: John Thornton of the Texas Tribune and Elizabeth Green of “Chalkbeat.” The idea is to find creative ways to raise money on the national and local levels to fund journalism. It recently announced that it had $42 million in funding commitments.

Elizabeth Warren Now Coming for Your Sandwiches: 'Today's Left Is Out of Control'



This organization sees itself as a Peace Corps for journalists and has begun deploying young reporters into local communities. It has sent reporters to Mississippi Today to report on criminal justice and the environment, to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to cover the state capital for The Incline and to Victoria, Texas, to write stories for the Victoria Advocate on the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. It has relationships with newsrooms across the country, including The Associated Press. Initially, the organization pays for half of a reporter’s salary, with the other half split between a local news organization and local donor. One of its goals is to wean the journalist off a national funding source.



The online investigative journalism web site has a local journalism project, where it has connected reporters in 14 news organizations across the country with a ProPublica editor to work on various stories. Among the participating news organizations this year are the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska, the Gazette in Charleston, West Virginia, and the Louisville Courier-Journal.



The award-winning PBS documentary series announced this past month its first foray into local news. Through a grant by the Knight Foundation, “Frontline” will hire five journalists in newsrooms across the country and an editor to oversee their work on stories about a pre-selected series of topics. The journalism they produce will be provided to local news organizations.

Fugitive Child Rapist Was Admitted Into US on Tourist Visa



The journalism philanthropists Knight Foundation and the Lenfest Institute for Journalism have been teaming up to provide money for newsrooms, primarily in big cities, to hasten their transition from print to digital products.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City