Edmond reporter
Thanks to partial funding from a Report for America grant, NonDoc will hire a reporter to cover Edmond's civic sector in 2022. (NonDoc)

An informed and engaged citizenry is key to the healthy democracy of a nation, a state, a county and a city. As traditional newsrooms shrink or disappear around the country, many people find themselves missing the type of civic, community journalism they once may have taken for granted.

Here at NonDoc, we are excited to announce a new effort to hire a reporter who can step up and help others fill a news void left by the closure of The Edmond Sun in May 2020.

Thanks to the national nonprofit organization Report For America and a growing group of local supporters, NonDoc will be able to add a new staff reporter in 2022 whose primary responsibility will be covering and chronicling the actions, decisions and issues facing the civic sector of Edmond, Oklahoma’s fifth-largest city.

While Edmond residents are still fortunate to have the weekly Edmond Life & Leisure publication and UCO’s UCentral Student Media, we have heard from many residents who believe they would benefit from having additional attention paid to local elections and public bodies like the Edmond City Council, the Edmond Planning Commission and the Edmond Public Schools Board of Education.

In 2021, NonDoc intentionally allocated some of our limited resources and time toward ensuring robust coverage of Edmond’s major elections, including those for City Council, mayor and a momentous sales tax vote to purchase land abutting E.C. Hafer Park. We partnered with News 9 and UCentral Student Media to host a public debate between the city’s two mayoral candidates.

Now, we are excited to begin the process of hiring a new full-time Edmond reporter who will be primarily assigned to cover the city’s civic issues. Journalists who want to apply for consideration must first be accepted into the Report For America corps program, and the early application deadline is Dec. 31. (Accepted applicants may also be placed at one of Report for America’s other grant-recipient newsrooms around the country.)

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Community support will be key

Report for America grant recipients like NonDoc receive funds to cover 50 percent of a journalist’s base salary for the first year, 30 percent for the second year and 20 percent for a third year. Benefits, payroll taxes and other expenses are not included.

While we are thrilled to receive this grant announced Wednesday by RFA, our development team and board know that we need to make additional relationships in Edmond and find sponsors and donors to help us ensure the long-term sustainability of this community journalism reporting position.

So if you are reading this and would like to stay abreast of our new Edmond reporting project as it develops and takes shape in 2022, please consider signing up below to receive updates about our fundraising efforts and, most importantly, the journalism we produce about your community.

Lastly, if you are eager to show your personal support for NonDoc’s mission and our efforts to produce quality community journalism, please consider clicking here to donate today. We are a 501(c)(3) organization, and donations are eligible for tax deduction.

Stay apprised of our Edmond reporting effort

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William W. Savage III (Tres) has served as the editor in chief of NonDoc since the publication launched in September 2015. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and covered two sessions of the Oklahoma Legislature for before working in health care for six years. He is a nationally certified Mental Health First Aid instructor.