WFAE and its partner organizations have hired three Report For America journalists to be a part of two groundbreaking partnerships starting in June.
RFA is a national service program that helps strengthen local news by training and placing journalists in local news organizations and covering a portion of their salaries for up to two years.
Laura Brache will work with WFAE and La Noticia, a Spanish-language newspaper based in Charlotte, to cover immigration and deportation issues facing the Latino community. She also will report on the Charlotte immigration court, one of the toughest in the nation with the second highest deportation rate in the country in 2019.
Most recently, Brache worked as a production coordinator at her alma mater, the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. She previously worked at WFMY News 2 in Greensboro, where she covered the Silent Sam statue controversy at UNC Chapel Hill and the campus shooting at UNC Charlotte. She is enrolled in Syracuse University’s online master’s program specializing in Journalism Innovation.
Alexandra Watts and Dante Miller will join WFAE as part of a partnership with Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).
As the reporter in the partnership, Watts will cover the local civics beat including Census outcomes and 2020 elections. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, she also will examine how local governmental institutions are repositioning themselves to meet the community’s needs.
Watts is going into her third year as an RFA corps member. Prior to coming to WFAE, she covered all 18 counties of the Mississippi Delta for Mississippi Public Broadcasting. Her work has been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered, “Here & Now” and in USA Today. Watts received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
As the community editor, Miller will leverage the reach of Wikipedia and the resources of WFAE and the libraries to expand the community’s access to information about key local topics, events, people and institutions. Miller also will help coordinate community forums, talk-back opportunities, programs and exhibits.
Miller has covered community-based stories as a reporter and freelancer at Q City Metro. She also worked as the Union County reporter for the Charlotte Media Group, the owners of Union County Weekly, South Charlotte Weekly and Matthews Mint Hill Weekly. Miller is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University.
"We're appreciative of programs such as RFA that assist us in putting more reporters into communities," said Ju-Don Marshall, WFAE's chief content officer. "This talented group of corps members will help us deepen our engagement with local residents. The program also will allow us to experiment with new models for journalism partnerships that increase our ability to serve the community. "
RFA, which started in 2018, is a national service program that places journalists in local news organizations to report on under-covered communities and issues. RFA will pay for half of these journalists’ salaries, and its local news partners will work with local and regional funders to cover the other half of their salaries. Read more about Report for America and the journalists they are placing across the country. Read RFA's announcement of the 2020-21 reporting corps.
WFAE 90.7 FM is a nonprofit public radio station, licensed to the University Radio Foundation Inc. With 90.3 in Hickory, 106.1 in Laurinburg and 93.7 in Southern Pines, WFAE serves more than 320,000 monthly listeners and 200,000 monthly readers in the greater Charlotte region with an award-winning mix of local, national and international news, and entertainment programs from NPR and other content partners. Listen online at WFAE.org.
About La Noticia
La Noticia is an award-winning media company that produces the largest Spanish language newspaper in North Carolina. For more than 22 years, it has served the growing Latino community in North Carolina with coverage of immigration, local and state government, politics and community news. La Noticia has four local print editions: Charlotte, the Triangle, the Triad and the Mountains.
About Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is one of America’s leading urban public libraries, serving a community of more than one million citizens in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Through 20 locations, targeted outreach and online resources, the Library delivers exceptional services and programs, with a mission to improve lives and build a stronger community. For more, visit cmlibrary.org.
About Digital Public Library of America
The Digital Public Library of America amplifies the value of libraries and cultural organizations as Americans’ most trusted sources of shared knowledge. We do this by collaborating with partners to accelerate innovative tools and ideas that empower and equip libraries to make information more accessible. Visit https://dp.la.
(Download the news release.)