Post awarded grant to expand coverage in West Long Beach

Expanding news coverage of socioeconomic and public policy issues in West Long Beach will be the focus of a new reporting position coming to the Long Beach Post next year, thanks to a Report for America grant announced today.

The Post was one of 164 newsrooms across the country and one of just two newsrooms in Los Angeles County to receive a grant from Report for America—a national service project that places journalists into local news organizations to report for one or two years on underrepresented issues and communities.

An initiative of the GroundTruth Project and supported by Google News Labs, the Facebook Journalism Project, the Knight Foundation, the Packard Foundation and dozens of other community and charitable organizations, Report for America helps hire reporters for partner newsrooms across the country, funding up to $20,000 of the reporter’s annual salary. The rest is paid for by the hosting news outlet, such as the Post, and local supporters.

The initial group of Report for America journalists started in their newsrooms in 2018 and the incoming 2020 class will include 250 journalists working in 46 states and Puerto Rico.

Applications for the new West Long Beach reporting position at the Post are now being accepted, via Report for America’s website, and can be submitted until Jan. 31. Those who apply must speak Spanish fluently, and have some reporting experience.

Participants are chosen through a national application process, with selected journalists and their respective newsrooms announced in April. Journalists will start work in their new newsrooms in June. Last year, the program drew nearly 1,000 applicants for 50 open reporting positions.

The Post’s successful grant application for Report for America was authored and coordinated by reporter Stephanie Rivera and the journalist selected for the new position will report on myriad topics and diverse issues in and around West Long Beach, including the Port of Long Beach.

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David Sommers is publisher of the Long Beach Post. As the publication’s top leader, he is responsible for everything from editorial and advertising to technical and corporate operations. On any given day, you can find him meeting with advertisers, schmoozing with city leaders and poring over tough news decisions. He’s also responsible for fixing the copy machine, setting up officer furniture and keeping the newsroom well-stocked with paper towels and coffee pods.