Enterprise journalism too often goes by the wayside amid corporate mergers, newsroom downsizing and consultant/corporate meddling.
So it is refreshing to see Scripps placing a focus on enterprise reporting through a new partnership with Report for America.
Report for America is an initiative of the nonprofit media organization The GroundTruth Project.
After recruiting and training journalists, the nonprofit then moves them into local newsrooms to cover under-reported topics in markets across the country.
As part of the new initiative, WCPO in Cincinnati, WEWS in Cleveland, KIVI in Boise, WTMJ in Milwaukee and Scripps Montana News Network stations will utilize the service.
WCPO will cover the city’s urban redevelopment efforts.
WEWS will report on literacy and domestic abuse.
KIVI will cover issues affecting underserved populations in rural areas.
WTMJ will embed a journalist in a historically under-covered neighborhood.
The Montana News Network stations will travel to Montana’s Native American reservations to give these traditionally underserved communities a larger voice.
“A central tenet of our content strategy at Scripps is our effort to focus more reporting on the beats and topics that impact the audiences we serve, including more coverage of underserved communities,” said Sean McLaughlin, vice president of news for Local Media at Scripps. “The journalists we hire into our newsrooms through the Report for America program will help us expand our commitment to enterprise reporting on critical issues and to be more inclusive about how we represent what is news in our markets.”
RFA plans to place 250 journalists in local communities across 46 states in 2020.
It’s a good start.