Sacramento Bee secures grants to hire reporters for Latino, Asian coverage

The Sacramento Bee  has been awarded a grant from a national non-profit program that the newspaper says it will use to hire a reporter to cover Latino issues.

The grant was announced Monday by Report for America, a national program from the non-profit GroundTruth Project. The organization helps place reporters in underserved communities or newsrooms with a high demand for coverage of a certain community or social issue.

The grant awarded Monday to the Sacramento Bee will be used to hire a full-time reporter to cover Northern California’s growing Latino community, the newspaper said, noting that 1 in 5 residents in the Sacramento region identify as Hispanic according to U.S. Census data.

Report for America’s grant provides $20,000 in upfront funding toward the salary of a reporter, with the rest of the salary covered by the host newsroom and private donors.

Monday’s announcement followed a similar one by the Bee after an initial grant was awarded that will enable the publication to hire a reporter for coverage of Asian-American issues in the region. Theodora Yu was hired in the summer to fill that spot; she will stay on at the Bee through 2020, the newspaper said.

“As we work to build a sustainable path forward for local news, we must elevate voices that have been marginalized,” Lauren Gustus, an editor with the Sacramento Bee, said in a statement. Gustus was promoted last month to oversee certain nonprofit journalism initiatives throughout McClatchy Company, the corporate owner of the Bee and other local newspapers.

On Monday, Report for America said similar grants would help place 250 journalists in more than 160 newsrooms across the country. Grants were awarded to several other Northern California newsrooms, including CalMatters in Sacramento, Berkeleyside, the Chico News & Review in Chico, the Redding Record Searchlight, EdSource in Oakland and the Modesto Bee.

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