KUER announced Thursday the station will establish its first regional bureaus — and add two reporters to its ranks — in partnership with the national service program Report For America. Set to open in June, the bureaus will serve audiences in under-covered areas in southwestern and southeastern Utah.
Reporters Kate Groetzinger and David Fuchs were selected by RFA and KUER to serve as participants, or “corps members,” in the service program now entering its second year. Though KUER is based in Salt Lake City, both reporters will live in the southern Utah communities served by their bureaus and by KUER’s statewide broadcast signal.
Groetzinger and Fuchs will also lead community engagement projects as part of their service requirement as corps members.
KUER’s Southeast Utah Bureau, as it will be known, will be based in San Juan County. The Southwest Utah Bureau will be be based in the St. George area. Both initiatives will focus on local government, public lands and the environment, indigenous issues, faith and spirituality and other topics of relevance to Utahns.
Groetzinger and Fuchs are among 61 reporters placed by RFA in 50 news organizations across 28 states and Puerto Rico. The newly minted corps members were chosen from a highly competitive pool of nearly 1,000 applicants. In keeping with the goals of RFA, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, corps members report on under-covered issues and communities, with the goal of addressing “an urgent need in American journalism at a time when local news deserts threaten our democracy like never before.”
The bureau reporters’ work will be supported by funding from RFA and KUER. In addition, several local partner organizations will offer key resources to support the bureaus, including Radio Dixie at Dixie State University, Utah State University-Blanding and DesignBuildBLUFF, a non-profit working in local housing and education in responsive design and construction.
About the reporters:
Kate Groetzinger (Southeast Utah Bureau) joins us from Austin, Texas, where she is completing a master's degree in journalism at the University of Texas at Austin's Moody School of Journalism. She has worked for Austin’s NPR station, KUT, and her work has been published in the Texas Observer, The Austin Chronicle, Quartz, Rhode Island Magazine and Artsy. She has also worked for the Voces Oral History Archive at the University of Texas, collecting and preserving the stories of Latino/a civil rights leaders in Texas. She holds a degree in English from Brown University.