Anna Van Dine Joins VPR As Report For America Journalist
Anna Van Dine has joined Vermont Public Radio as a Report For America journalist, the station has announced. Van Dine is covering the deeper issues revealed by the coronavirus pandemic, and helping produce and co-host VPR’s daily news podcast, ‘The Frequency.’Van Dine is among 225 journalists in the 2020 corps. Report For America is a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. It is an initiative of the nonprofit news organization, The GroundTruth Project.
The new cohort, nearly four times larger than last year, will be placed with more than 160 local news organizations across 45 states and Puerto Rico. VPR is among several New England organizations to host corps members this year.
These reporting positions come at a time when local journalism is already reeling from years of newsroom cuts and unforeseen challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Vermont has lost more than 40 percent of its reporters, radio and television announcers in the last 20 years, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Since COVID-19 has affected all aspects of life in Vermont, many news organizations have been struggling to sustain business operations, with many laying off staff, cutting back on service, instituting furloughs and in some cases, closing altogether.
"Now more than ever, people are turning to VPR for local and regional news,” said Vice President of News Sarah Ashworth. “Report for America and its partners will help VPR expand its public service and reach new audiences with essential news that can help people better understand and adapt to this challenging time."
Van Dine first joined VPR as an intern in the summer of 2019. She served as news director at WNYU, New York University’s student-run radio station, where she oversaw student podcast production and the weekly news show. Van Dine has training in oral history and was an interviewer for the New York Public Library’s Rikers Public Memory Project. Prior to that, she spent time at StoryCorps and the Vermont Folklife Center. Van Dine grew up in the Mad River Valley in Central Vermont. She will graduate from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study next month.
Report For America will cover half the salary of the journalist who is selected, with VPR and local fundraising initiatives covering the rest. The appointment is for one year but can be extended, with the goal for the position to become self-sustaining and permanent.