With Report for America's help, Daily Herald to strengthen local climate coverage
The Daily Herald is deepening its commitment to cover the local impact of climate change through a partnership with Report for America.
"We intend to cover climate as local news," Editor John Lampinen said. "That means covering all the things that are or will take place -- all the ways our lives will be affected by climate change, but also all the ways our lives will be affected by the responses meant to mitigate that change. We intend to cover it the way we try to cover all types of news -- big picture and local focus, the large stories and the small ones."
"The stories," Lampinen said, "will include basics such as where you can find electric charging stations in the suburbs, analysis of the quality of your drinking water, and the broad sweep of how the Chicago area might look in 10, 50, 100 years. And much more."
Report for America is a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues and communities. The Daily Herald is part of an expanding network of about 270 newsrooms that benefit from the nonprofit's support.
The Daily Herald was selected two years ago to bolster coverage of local government in the suburbs. This time, the focus will be on climate as the region faces hotter summers, more intense spring storms and concern over Lake Michigan -- the area's primary water source. What are people, businesses and governments in the suburbs doing about it? What will it mean to our homes, our jobs, our lifestyles, our pocketbooks and our health? Will migration patterns send us elsewhere or will they send people and businesses our way?
The selections for 150 new positions being subsidized in 2022 were made "mostly on the basis of which newsrooms defined the most compelling gaps in coverage and plans to deploy corps members well," the service organization said in a prepared statement.
Of those new positions, 31 are intended to increase coverage of the environment.
"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."
Applications for the Daily Herald's climate reporter and other Report for America-sponsored positions are now open at reportforamerica.org/reporters. Applications will be accepted until Jan. 31; however, those who apply before Dec. 31 will receive early consideration.
Reporters will become employees of their host newsrooms and are expected to begin their positions in June.
Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization that trains and supports emerging journalists around the world.
"We appreciate the important contribution Report for America is making to local journalism across the country," Lampinen said, "and we are grateful for the opportunity to participate in its 2022 program."