The Anchorage Daily News will add a reporter based in Washington, D.C., in 2022 to cover Alaska issues in a partnership with Report for America, the organizations announced Wednesday.
It’s one of 150 new Report for America positions being added in newsrooms around the country in 2022, and is the ADN’s second Report for America position. Reporter Annie Berman has been covering public health and health care in Alaska for the Daily News through the program since 2020.
Report for America is a national service program supporting local journalism by increasing the number of reporters focused on undercovered local and regional issues and communities.
The organization announced its 2022 grant recipients Wednesday.
The newly selected newsrooms, along with those renewing their partnerships, will expand Report for America’s corps size to 325, including nearly 270 newsrooms across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the organization said.
“Alaska needs more journalists, period, and we’re thrilled to have support from Report for America to expand our coverage,” said Daily News editor David Hulen. “Partnerships like this are one of several paths to long-term sustainability for the ADN.”
The Daily News for many years had reporters based in Washington focused on covering Alaska’s congressional delegation and impacts of federal policy on the state. The position was eliminated as the ADN reduced costs after a 2017 bankruptcy and change in ownership. The organization is financially stable and is seeking to deepen its reporting on multiple fronts, Hulen said.
“This isn’t just someone working for the ADN — it’s someone working for Alaskans,” Hulen said.
Report for America grant recipients include daily and weekly newspapers, digital-only news outlets, and radio and television stations.
Other Alaska newsrooms to receive grants include KDLL public radio on the Kenai Peninsula and KRBD community radio in Ketchikan.
The organization is a donor-financed initiative of The GroundTruth Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization with a long history of training and supporting teams of rising journalists.
“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.”
Report for America is a two-year program — with an option for a third year — that pays up to half of salaries of the reporters, who tend to be early- and mid-career journalists. Local news organizations work to raise the rest of the cost of the positions. They’re employees of the local news organizations, and the organizations make hiring decisions. The program provides ongoing training and mentorships and peer networking. The corps members are required to do a community service project, which often includes engaging middle or high school students in journalism-related activities.