Applications Open for FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative 2021

The PBS series FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative provides support to local news organizations to produce a specific investigative journalism project, focusing on communities where independent reporting is endangered by financial pressures on news media.

FRONTLINE is now accepting project proposals on projects from local news organizations for 2021. They are looking for great stories in every medium — text, audio or video. In some cases, a project may also come under consideration for a FRONTLINE documentary.

FRONTLINE will select up to five partners annually on the basis of the strength of the proposed investigation, the geographic diversity of the news organizations; and representation of racial/ethnic diversity on the reporting team and/or coverage area. They will also consider need for outside support to complete the reporting and tell the full story.

FRONTLINE recognizes that many newsrooms are devoted to covering COVID-19. They welcome proposals related to the outbreak as long as they are investigative in nature.

FRONTLINE will provide local partners with:

  • The annual salary for a reporter. The financial support is designed to free the reporter from deadline journalism to pursue an in-depth reporting project lasting months.
  • Additional reporting resources. Depending on the needs of the investigation, they can also provide supplemental funding for research, FOIA fees, travel or other expenses.
  • Editorial guidance from FRONTLINE journalists. They will tailor editorial support to the needs of their partners and whether the eventual form of the story will be in video, audio or text.
  • Advice from FRONTLINE’s audience development team. They will help strategize about how to build community engagement with the project and extend the reach of the partner’s reporting within the local community.
  • Support for training. They will collaborate with partners to design specific training for local journalists in areas that can help make investigative journalism and storytelling sustainable.

For more information, visit FRONTLINE.

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