Arizona’s Largest Newspaper Hires Reporters Through Big Tech, Liberal-Funded Group

Arizona’s Largest Newspaper Hires Reporters Through Big Tech, Liberal-Funded Group

By Corinne Murdock |

The largest newspaper in Arizona hired two new reporters with the help of a group funded by some of the country’s most powerful Big Tech corporations and liberal companies. 

The new Arizona Republic reporters came from Report for America, a program launched by the Big Tech and liberal-funded GroundTruth Project to place their hand-selected journalists in newsrooms across the world. The not-for-profit receives millions from the likes of Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and the Ford Foundation for its mission to “restore journalism.”

The program offers a major financial incentive for news outlets to take on its reporters. Report for America pays 50 percent of their reporter’s salary the first year with a cap of $25,000 for reporters with less than eight years experience or $30,000 for reporters with eight or more years of experience, then 33 percent of the salary the second year and 20 percent the third year with no cap. 

Outlets don’t even have to worry about paying for the entire remainder of those reporters’ salaries. The program pledged to help fundraise half or more of the remainder of each salary. High turnover wouldn’t be an issue, either — the program requires reporters to commit to working at least two years in the newsroom to which they are assigned. 

News outlets must relinquish some of their freedom when it comes to hiring the program’s reporters, however. Outlets don’t get to choose from all of the program’s reporters. Report for America hand-selects three to five candidates from which the outlets may choose. 

The owner of the Arizona Republic, the mass media holding company Gannett, has given thousands to the program: an undisclosed sum ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. 

In addition to the Arizona Republic, Report for America journalists are working for Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting and Tucson Sentinel

Report for America claimed that its reporters are committed to non-partisan, non-ideological local reporting. Over 200 news outlets across each of the 50 states house at least one of the over 300 Report for America journalists. Two-thirds of those reporters are women, and nearly half are “journalists of color” according to the program. 

GroundTruth’s editorial partners include The Washington Post, Time, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Guardian, USA Today, PBS, NPR, NewsWeek, TeenVogue, CNN, Cosmopolitan, ABC News, and USA Today. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.