At the Pulitzer Center, reaching and inspiring the public with powerful storytelling has always been at the core of our work. This week, we are launching StoryReach U.S., an innovative reporting lab and fellowship aimed at empowering local and regional journalists to create impactful reporting and engage their communities in meaningful ways. Our goal is to partner with U.S. newsrooms that are eager to reach new audiences, reignite civic engagement, and bring greater attention to vital issues that affect us all.
This initiative is a response to the myriad challenges facing local and regional outlets across the United States, including declining subscriptions, the scourge of misinformation, and the erosion of trust in media, which is leading to civic disengagement and disintegrating news audiences.
One of the central challenges for newsrooms today is making their stories relevant to increasingly diverse and segmented audiences. While some newsrooms struggle to retain and attract new readers, others are experimenting with bold and imaginative approaches to engage the public. Many are also working hard to report on and find new pathways into underrepresented communities, pierce political bubbles, and reach often-overlooked groups in their regions.
Following the successful model of collaborative networks like the Pulitzer Center’s Rainforest Investigations Network and AI Accountability Network, our new StoryReach U.S. Fellowship is an opportunity for forward-thinking journalists and newsrooms who wish to work together with their peers and Pulitzer Center staff to unlock the full potential of storytelling and innovative audience reach.
As part of the initiative, we will encourage Fellows to share lessons from their projects which will serve as blueprints for other journalists across the country who are focused on adapting to changing media consumption habits, exploring monetization opportunities, measuring impact, and discovering new audiences.
Applications for the StoryReach U.S. Fellowships are now open and are due on March 3, 2024. We invite interested journalists and newsrooms to join us for an “Ask Me Anything” webinar on February 15, where Pulitzer Center editors will share more information and answer questions about the initiative.
We hope StoryReach U.S. will become an incubator and a resource for reporters and news outlets who are committed to powerful, deep reporting and to finding new ways to reach audiences that most need to be informed by their journalism.
In November 2023, Pulitzer Center grantee Jazmín Acuña’s project, The Impact of Extreme Heat on Delivery Workers, revealed that delivery drivers in Paraguay are exposed to dangerous temperatures while on the job. After the project was published, the Ministry of Labor published recommendations aimed at employers and employees in the event of extreme heat days.
Acuña was interviewed for a project update with Knight Center LatAm Journalism Review, in which she outlined the methodology behind her work and challenges she faced during the investigation.
Photo of the Week
“Indigenous people and other climate experts tell us that solving the climate crisis requires us to slow down and live in more reciprocal relationships with one another and the environment. Origins was a way for me to try to embody this wisdom in my process and report on climate slowly through a series of interconnected climate solutions stories about an African American community in Princeville, North Carolina, that is experimenting with new ways of living with their environment in the age of climate change.”
This message first appeared in the February 9, 2024, edition of the Pulitzer Center's weekly newsletter. Subscribe today.
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