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Wisconsin Watch is pleased to announce that Report for America has chosen us to host two RFA corps members in 2022. 

Wisconsin Watch will receive support for a corps member to join the Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk, a project directed by the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. The reporting network aims to tell water and agriculture stories across the Mississippi River Basin, a region that covers 42% of the continental United States. Wisconsin Watch’s corps member will be one of 10 reporters on the project.

The reporters will be trained and supported by seasoned reporters, experts with the Society of Environmental Journalists and the faculty and staff at the Missouri School of Journalism. They’ll have dedicated financial and technical resources to support their reporting, including annual in-person training workshops, access to a database of sources and input from a community advisory board, which will allow them to dig deeper on critical issues and collaborate on stories of local, regional and national importance.

That corps member will start June 1, 2022 for a two-year stint. 

RFA also has chosen Wisconsin Watch to host a statehouse reporter to cover the governor’s office, Legislature, state agencies and Wisconsin Supreme Court. That reporter also will go through the RFA application project, and the position will likely start in March 2022.

Information for Report for America journalists is available here, and applications can be submitted here. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31. 

Potential RFA members who have questions about either position can contact Wisconsin Watch Managing Editor Dee J. Hall at dhall@wisconsinwatch.org.

These reporters will be the second and third Report for America corps members to join Wisconsin Watch. RFA corps member Phoebe Petrovic is completing her third year with Wisconsin Watch and will become a permanent staff member when her term ends in June.

Report for America corps member Phoebe Petrovic conducts an interview in Madison, Wis., on Oct. 2, 2019. Petrovic is the Criminal Justice Reporting Project Manager for Wisconsin Watch. Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Wisconsin Watch is among 270 newsrooms across the country, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands chosen by Report for America to host 325 corps members in 2022. RFA is a national service program that places talented emerging journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities. 

Launched in 2017, Report for America is creating a system to provide Americans with the information they need to improve their communities, hold powerful institutions accountable and rebuild trust in the media. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project.

“Yes, local news is in crisis—but this batch of newsrooms also fills us with tremendous hope,” said Steven Waldman, president and co-founder of Report for America. “Newsrooms across the country are pushing to cover essential local beats like schools and rural areas, at the same time they try to better represent all of the people in their communities.”

Charles Sennott, GroundTruth chief executive officer and co-founder of Report for America, said the collapse of local news is “the greatest threat to democracy.”

“We are excited to welcome these newsrooms and look forward to empowering them to meet the growing information needs of the communities they serve,” he said.

Wisconsin Watch is the news outlet of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, a nonpartisan, independent nonprofit with offices at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. 

Our mission is “to increase the quality, quantity and understanding of investigative journalism to foster an informed citizenry and strengthen democracy.”

We dig into undercovered issues, document broken and failing systems, put findings into regional and national contexts and explore potential solutions. We aim to spark impact that improves people’s lives and holds power to account.

Our guiding values: Protect the vulnerable. Expose wrongdoing. Explore solutions. 

“We are grateful that Report for America has once again chosen Wisconsin Watch for its noble project to improve democracy through increased reporting on important issues — a mission that is closely aligned with our own,” Managing Editor Dee J. Hall said.

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