California’s US$25 million state support for local news reporting is the latest and the biggest in a growing cluster of contributions aimed at keeping journalism alive.
Like New Jersey’s Civic Information Consortium – which receives US$3 million from its latest budget – there’s typically university involvement in the way the money is administered.
In California’s case, distribution is via University of California Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism starting next year.
The allocation is believed to be the largest in the US and certainly the state in support of local journalism. Up to 40 fellows a year will receive US$50,000 annually for three years “to supplement their salaries” while they work in newsrooms in California covering communities in dire need of strong local journalism.
Berkeley journalism graduates and others can apply for the first round of fellowships from next May.
The university says particular focus will be put on newsrooms “that provide local coverage for underserved and historically underrepresented communities.”
The New Jersey scheme has been underway for some months, and its regular meetings are on public record.