The Kansas City Star won a grant from the national service program Report for America (RFA) to help pay for three full-time reporters covering gun violence in Missouri, the Star reports. Missouri has for years ranked first in the nation for its rate of black homicide victims. The state’s three biggest cities — Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield — have been among the top 12 “most dangerous” cities in the U.S. Starting next year, the three RFA journalists based in the Star’s newsroom will travel across Missouri covering the issue on a statewide level.
Reporters will investigate the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to the gun violence problem in Missouri, where black people are killed at a per capita rate nine times the overall national homicide rate. RFA started in 2017 to train young journalists and place them in newsrooms to help cover underserved regions or important issues. The reporters are assigned for one year, with the option to renew for a second year. They have an average of three to six years of experience and often return to their home states. Journalists may apply to join RFA at reportforamerica.org.