Call for Applications: FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative


April 29, 2020

FRONTLINE is now accepting applications to its Local Journalism Initiative, a program that bolsters investigative journalism in communities where independent reporting is endangered by financial pressures on news media.

Now entering its second year, the initiative provides financial, editorial, and audience development support to local newsrooms pursuing enterprise projects. It is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


Applications are project-based and will be open through July 31; up to five winning local news organizations will be announced in the fall.

They will receive:

  • An 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, FRONTLINE can also provide supplemental funding for research, FOIA fees, travel or other expenses.
  • Editorial guidance from FRONTLINE journalists. FRONTLINE will tailor editorial support to meet partners’ needs and whether the eventual form of the story will be in video, audio or text.
  • Advice from FRONTLINE’s audience development team. FRONTLINE will help to strategize about how to build community engagement with the investigative project, and extend the reach of the partner’s reporting within the local community.
  • Support for training. FRONTLINE will collaborate with partners to design specific training for local journalists in areas that can help make investigative journalism and storytelling sustainable.

FRONTLINE selected and began working with its inaugural class of five Local Journalism Initiative partners, the Tampa Bay Times, Oklahoma Watch, Rocky Mountain PBS, New Mexico PBS (KNME-TV) and Milwaukee PBS, on long-term investigative projects in 2019. The series expanded that support as these partner newsrooms began investigating the profound impacts of COVID-19 on their communities. Ongoing reporting produced with FRONTLINE’s inaugural Local Journalism Initiative partners can be found here.

Explore the Local Journalism Initiative application here, read our FAQ for more, and contact with any additional questions.

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