100&Change finalist Report for America announces catalytic funding, plans to scale 

Supporters commit nearly $5M this week toward a $15M year-end goal; challenge other philanthropic partners to match the commitment

Today, Report for America shared plans to expand its efforts to eliminate America’s news deserts with support from a diverse network of philanthropists. To reach its aim of placing a reporter in every community, Report for America supporters have committed nearly $5 million in the past week alone, and call for additional support for this bold solution to a critical challenge of our time. 

An initiative of The GroundTruth Project, Report for America is one of the top six proposals in 100&Change, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation competition for scalable, sustainable social impact, and the only project focused on restoring democracy at a historic moment for our country. 

“Report for America represents an opportunity to solve one of our most pressing problems—news deserts,” said Cecilia Conrad, managing director of 100&Change and CEO of Lever for Change. “We are deeply committed to helping all of the finalists attract support and accelerate social change.” 

Looking forward, Report for America will scale to 1,000 local reporters across the country by 2024, and transform the economics of local news to make these new reporting resources permanent. 

“The 100&Change process has inspired our organization to think big about systemic change, and has highlighted the importance of local journalism as a binding agent for all communities in a functioning democracy,” said Charles Sennott, Report for America co-founder and GroundTruth CEO. “We know that the biggest global challenges of our time—like equitable health care, the impact of climate change, and affordable housing—will require trusted, local public service journalism if we are to come together to solve them.” 

The crisis in local news has taken on new urgency with the COVID-19 pandemic and threats to democracy created by misinformation in the absence of trusted, local news reporting. Report for America took the time to adjust its plans to meet the moment and address community needs.

“Report for America is rebuilding a better local news system—one that’s more sustainable and more equitable—making a permanent impact on generations to come,” said Steve Waldman, Report for America’s president and co-founder. “Right now, we have hundreds of local reporters across the country serving their communities’ needs as we recover from a global pandemic. With your help, we can go so much further to serve communities that need it most.” 

100&Change vetted and raised awareness of the growing crisis in local journalism, helping Report for America to strengthen its plans for long-term growth. 

Report for America is listed in the Bold Solutions Network, which showcases the highest rated proposals from competitions managed by Lever for Change, a MacArthur affiliate. Since the inaugural 100&Change competition, other funders and philanthropists have committed an additional $448 million to date to support bold solutions by 100&Change applicants.

To learn more and to support Report for America’s efforts to scale and meet the critical challenge posed by the crisis in local news, contact Lauren McKown, GroundTruth’s vice president of development and communications by email: lmckown@thegroundtruthproject.org or visit www.reportforamerica.org.

About 100&Change

100&Change is a distinctive competition that is open to organizations and collaborations working in any field, anywhere in the world. Proposals must identify a problem and offer a solution that promises significant and durable change.

This round of the competition had a promising start, with 755 organizations or collaborations submitting proposals. Of those, 475 passed an initial administrative review. 100&Change was designed to be fair, open, and transparent. The identity of the judges and the methodology used to assess initial proposals are public. Applicants received comments and feedback from their peers, judges, and technical reviewers. The six finalists worked with expert teams to strengthen their proposals, plan for evaluation and learning, and authentically engage with communities of interest. Key issues in the competition are discussed in our Perspectives on 100&Change blog posts.

In the inaugural round of 100&Change, Sesame Workshop and International Rescue Committee were awarded $100 million to educate young children displaced by conflict and persecution in the Syrian response region and to challenge the global system of humanitarian aid to build a foundation that helps ensure the future of millions of children. 

About Report for America

Report for America 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 new, sustainable system that provides 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, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization with an established track record of training and supporting teams of emerging journalists around the world, including the recent launch of Report for the World in partnership with local newsrooms in India and Nigeria.