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CityView awarded Report for America grant for health care reporter

New full-time journalist will report on physical, mental and emotional health disparities in Cumberland County


CityView has been selected as a host newsroom partner for a reporting corp position through Report for America, the organization announced Thursday.

CityView’s RFA application — one of just 53 granted this week — will provide a full-time health care journalist to report on physical, mental and emotional health disparities in and around Cumberland County. The two-year position will be filled in late summer or early fall and will be partially funded by RFA.

“We have placed a bet on these newsrooms, that with our help they will become beacons of the whole industry,” said Kim Kleman, executive director of Report for America. “They know the coverage they need to better serve their communities. With our help recruiting talented early-career journalists, paying part of their salary, and working with newsrooms to become more sustainable, we expect exciting results.”

CityView will immediately begin seeking a full-time journalist to provide the reporting for the 35,000 readers who subscribe to the free CityView Today newsletter and read stories produced by CityView’s newsroom at www.cityviewnc.com. The reporter hired will join a newsroom currently staffed by three full-time reporters and three editors and supported by reporting and writing from a number of part-time correspondents and columnists.

“We see health as a broad issue that shows up in a lot of issues in our community,” CityView News Fund Vice Chairman Tim White, who led the grant writing process, said. “Poor health outcomes are affecting education, the workplace, and especially low-income communities trying to break out of poverty. We’re dealing with opioid addiction on a large scale and a rising murder rate, especially among our young, male population. And yet, there’s little or no media reporting on the problem. We’re excited that Report For America agreed that we have a big need here and we’re looking forward to tackling these issues — and seeking solutions — with our new health reporter.”

Report for America is a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues and communities. It is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, a nonprofit media organization, and is structured to harness the skills and idealism of an emerging group of journalists plus the creative spirit of local news organizations.

Report for America is a two-year program (with an option for three) that delivers a wide range of benefits to its corps members. Beyond paying up to half of the journalists’ salaries, it provides ongoing training and mentorship by leading journalists, peer networking, and memberships to select professional organizations.

“The lack of regular coverage of health care issues in our community affects the quality of life and health for every resident,” CityView Publisher Tony Chavonne said. “With this Report for America grant for a health care reporter, CityView will be able to provide important news coverage that can help county residents improve their health and well-being and provide oversight of the institutions charged with creating a healthy community.”

The new reporting position at CityView was awarded as part of a new partnership with the North Carolina Collaborative, led by Scalawag Magazine and The Assembly, which will bring a strong new local news cohort to North Carolina with reporters at CityView and two other outlets: Blue Ridge Public Radio and WHQR.

The full list of new newsrooms and beats can be found here.

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