Michigan Radio (WUOM-FM/WFUM-FM/WVGR-FM-Ann Arbor) has been selected as a host newsroom by Report for America. As part of this initiative, Michigan Radio will hire a new reporter who will focus on coverage of mental health care in Michigan. A recent study found nearly 670,000 Michiganders with mental illness and more than 500,000 with a substance use disorder are not receiving treatment, a circumstance compounded by a shortage of health professionals and treatment facilities in the state. Some mental health advocates consider this a statewide epidemic.
The journalism that this new reporter will conduct will help Michigan residents understand the seriousness and depth of the mental health care problem in Michigan, from the severe shortage of emergency psych beds to lengthy political debates and the underfunding of public mental health services.
The Report for America project is a national service program that places talented, emerging journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. An initiative of The GroundTruth Project, Report for America’s mission is to strengthen communities and democracy through local journalism that is truthful, fearless, fair and smart, while covering stories and beats that would otherwise go uncovered. In total, Report for America announced today that it will field 250 emerging journalists in 164 host news organizations to serve local communities across 46 states in the coming year.
Michigan Radio was the only radio news organization in the state that was chosen as a Report for America host newsroom. Other news organizations in Michigan that were selected include the Detroit Free Press, Detroit Public Television, the Traverse City Record-Eagle and FlintBeat.com.
Applications for this and other available Report for America positions are being accepted now until Jan. 31 at reportforamerica.org.