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Gig Harbor Now-Kitsap Sun partnership included in first cohort of Murrow Fellowship program

Posted on February 21st, 2024 By:

Gig Harbor Now, in partnership with the Bremerton-based daily newspaper Kitsap Sun, is one of nine news organizations selected to receive a journalist as part of the new Murrow Fellowship program through Washington State University.

Murrow Fellowship evaluators selected the Gig Harbor Now-Kitsap Sun partnership and eight other news organizations from among 40 applications from around Washington state.

The new reporter could start work as soon as April. The GHN-Kitsap Sun application called for the journalist to cover issues of health care, drug addiction and mental health in the West Sound region.

Murrow Fellowship

WSU’s Murrow College of Communications operates the program. Washington State University will employ the fellows, who will live in the communities to which they are assigned for the two-year duration of the fellowship.

The state Legislature created the program in 2023 and provided it with $2.3 million in funding. Democratic state Sens. Karen Keizer of Des Moines and Marko Liias of Everett championed the legislation.

Legislators intended the two-year fellowship program to both boost local reporting and to provide work experience for aspiring journalists.

“We view (the) program as a small but critical part of maintaining the state’s news infrastructure until the financial precarity of news organizations subsides,” Ben Shors, Murrow chair of Journalism and Media Production, said in a news release. “Over the past eight months, we have spoken to dozens of news organizations, journalists, and community leaders, and the responses have been sobering. From urban centers to rural communities, the need for reliable local information is clear.”

Other fellows

Among other Murrow Fellowship recipients is the The News Tribune newspaper of Tacoma. The News Tribune’s fellow will cover homelessness in Tacoma and Pierce County.

Fellows will also report in Spokane, the Tri-Cities, Wenatchee, Yakima, Vancouver-Longview and Long Beach in Pacific County. For details, click here.

The Murrow School will select a second cohort of fellows in 2025.

Gig Harbor Now is an independent, nonprofit news source covering the Gig Harbor area between the Narrows Bridge and the Purdy Bridge. Community leaders founded GHN in September 2021.

The Kitsap Sun is a daily newspaper, owned by the Gannett Corporation, that covers communities in Kitsap County.