IRE Commons - How to Report for America

  • Event: 2018 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Molly Born of West Virginia Public Broadcasting; Charles Sennott of Report for America; Maggie Messitt of Report for America; Harvey Parson of Mississippi Today
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Jun. 14 at 9:00am
  • Location: Veiltail
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

A new national service model for journalism is helping news organizations cover underserved communities by sharing the cost of hiring new reporters. This session will feature a conversation with Report for America corps members, editors and staff about how the program works, the impact it's making already and how journalists can get involved. Attendees will hear stories from the field in Appalachia, our first region, and be invited to participate in a discussion about how local journalism builds relationships between journalists and their communities, improving the lives of residents and increasing trust in the press. The initiative is supported by Google News Lab, Knight Foundation and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism in partnership with The Emma Bowen Foundation, Maynard Institute and Solutions Journalism Network.

Speaker Bios

  • Molly Born is a radio reporter/producer for West Virginia Public Broadcasting and part of Report for America’s inaugural class of fellows. She recently opened a WVPB bureau in the southern coalfields of West Virginia, her home state. As a reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, she provided award-winning coverage of breaking news and education, including a series that investigated the schools superintendent, who had exaggerated and plagiarized his resume. @molly_born.

  • Maggie Messitt has worked as a journalist, editor, and social entrepreneur inside underserved communities in rural South Africa and the American Midwest. She was a 2010 Knight Digital Media Center Fellow and is the author of The Rainy Season, longlisted for the 2016 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. Messitt is currently the National Director of Report for America.

  • Harvey Parson is a 1983 graduate of Mississippi State University with nearly 30 years of newspaper experience, including leadership roles at the Arizona Republic in Phoenix, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in Atlanta, and Cox Media Group in Dayton, Ohio. He has worn many hats, from copy editor to page designer, to news editor to city editor. But, since becoming Managing Editor of Mississippi Today in Sept. 2017, Harvey has fallen in love with our digital only platform.

  • Charles Sennott is the Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Editor of The GroundTruth Project. He is an award-winning correspondent, best-selling author and editor with 30 years of experience in international, national and local journalism. A leading social entrepreneur in new media, Sennott started GroundTruth in 2014 and in 2017 launched the non-profit organization's new, local reporting initiative, Report for America. @cmsennott

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