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.
With more than 1,400 members, the Society of Environmental Journalists is the largest network of professional journalists covering energy and environment in North America. SEJ’s mission is to strengthen the quality, reach and viability of journalism across all media to advance public understanding of environmental issues. Through its annual conferences, grants, awards, webinars, online forums, and publications, SEJ increases and improves environmental journalism by supporting the people who cover the world’s most important stories.
As the world’s first journalism school, founded in 1908, the University of Missouri School of Journalism brings unparalleled breadth and depth to the study and practice of journalism. With more than 2,000 students in programs at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels, the J-School pioneered hands-on education through the “Missouri Method.” Today the school’s real-world newsrooms and agencies include the Columbia Missourian newspaper; Vox Magazine; KBIA, an NPR-affiliate radio station; KOMU, an NBC-affiliate TV station, and the AdZou and Mojo Ad advertising agencies. The J School’s 24,000+ alumni include some of the best journalists and communicators working in newsrooms, agencies and companies worldwide.
RJI was launched in 2004 with a grant of $31 million from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. In conjunction with the centennial celebration of the Missouri School of Journalism, RJI’s headquarters were opened in September 2008. This 50,000 square-foot facility on the University of Missouri campus has state-of-the-art resources to test and demonstrate new technologies, experiment with new approaches to producing, designing and delivering news, information and advertising, and to host conferences.
Distributed Media Lab is the technology company that supplies the Ag & Water Desk’s public-facing story-sharing platform, seen on this site’s homepage. Founded in 2018, DML is the first frictionless content distribution platform for the open web. The platform allows publishers to embed premium, curated content to enhance or augment their coverage of critical topics. The story-sharing platform is compatible with any CMS and free for any publisher to embed on their site, and the lightbox viewer allows users to access content without leaving the site of origin. Through DML’s technology, both hosting and curated publishers maintain the benefits of their original content via incremental audience acquisition and monetization.
The Ag & Water Desk is part of the international collaboration Covering Climate Now, which is committed to improving coverage of the climate change story.
The Ag & Water Desk team is made up of ten partner news organizations: Wisconsin Watch, Madison, WI; Investigate Midwest, Champaign, IL; The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee, WI; The Daily Memphian, Memphis, TN; Northern Public Radio – WNIJ, Dekalb, IL; Harvest Public Media, Kansas City, MO; Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN; The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, IA; and The Lens in New Orleans, LA. Each news outlet applied to be part of the project through Report for America. Each outlet has hired one reporter to participate as a member of the Ag & Water Desk.
Additionally, the desk has five expert journalists and two senior advisors based at the following outlets: Inside Climate News, Washington, D.C.; The St. Louis Post Dispatch, St. Louis; DTN/The Progressive Farmer; the Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis; WWNO, New Orleans Public Radio, New Orleans and The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate | NOLA.com, New Orleans.