A high-profile nonprofit is launching a Washington D.C.-focused newsroom early next year that promises to publish deep reporting and act as a training ground for young reporters.
In an announcement shared exclusively with Semafor, the Allbritton Journalism Institute said on Wednesday that in January 2024, it plans to launch News of the United States, or “NOTUS,” a new publication that will explore Washington and the 2024 election.
“With NOTUS — News of the United States — we wanted to create something new and innovative in the world of journalism: a non-profit newsroom whose primary mission is to train the next generation of aspiring journalists by putting them in collaboration with the very best editors and reporters in D.C., all in the service of producing the non-partisan, trustworthy news that Washington needs,” Robert Allbritton, founder of AJI, told Semafor in a statement.
AJI also announced that it is adding two staffers to its D.C. team ahead of the launch. Jasmine Wright, a former White House reporter for CNN, and Haley Byrd Wilt, a veteran congressional reporter and an associate editor at The Dispatch, will both join the publication next week.
Earlier this year, Semafor broke the news that the former Politico founder and publisher had already committed $20 million to launch AJI, a nonprofit organization focused on addressing the difficulty of mentorship and the prohibitive cost of getting started in a career in journalism. The program provides health insurance, paid time off, and an annual salary of $60,000 for young journalists to report for the institute’s publication for one year and learn from over 20 professional journalists serving as mentors and writers/editors. In addition to Editor-in-Chief Tim Grieve, Managing Editors Matt Berman and Kate Nocera, and Managing Editor for Longform & Director of Admissions Richard Just, AJI has also brought on faculty that includes the Atlantic’s Tim Alberta, former CNN reporter Evan McMorris-Santoro, and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Wesley Lowery.
“Big newspapers where reporters used to get training are kind of gone,” Allbritton told Semafor in an interview in May. “There’s got to be a track where we can provide opportunities for bright folks, and maybe do it in a way that’s more deliberate.”
He continued: “You can teach a certain amount in the classroom, but a lot of learning how to be a great reporter is doing it and working with people who can show you moves and enhance your thinking and enhance your writing.”