Two journalists are joining The Republic next month to cover rural life and communities in northern and southern Arizona. Their work will be funded by the nonprofit Report for America in association with The Arizona Republic.
Lacey Latch will cover communities in northern Arizona. Latch most recently covered local and state politics, public safety and local culture for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado. In 2021, she was a Pulliam fellow at The Republic. Her foundation as a journalist was formed while attending DePaul University in Chicago, where she was editor-in-chief of the student paper. Latch holds a master’s degree in journalism from DePaul as well as her bachelor’s.
She hails from Mullica Hill, New Jersey, a small farming town across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. She will be based in northern Arizona.
Sarah Lapidus will cover communities in southern Arizona. She most recently worked as a reporter in Alaska for the Kodiak Daily Mirror. She is a graduate of Michigan State University, with a bachelor’s degree in French. She studied journalism at City College of San Francisco. Her reporting on local politics, policing and housing issues has appeared in a number of San Francisco publications. As an intern at The Bogotá Post in Bogotá, Colombia’s capital, Lapidus reported on news, indie music and the Colombian peace process.
Lapidus, a world traveler, speaks fluent French and Spanish and basic Mandarin. Lapidus will be based in Tucson.
Latch and Lapidus will form an coverage team led by Arizona editor Mike Cruz.
Cruz, an editor at the Republic since 2018, has led coverage of breaking news and crime, handling dozens of high-impact breaking news events. Cruz previously worked for 13 years as an editor and reporter with the Southern California News Group.
The new reporters will start June 1.
Greg Burton, the executive editor of The Republic, said, “Adding more coverage in rural Arizona will allow us to tell more of the stories of our state and deepen coverage of regional issues and topics. We appreciate the support from Report for America. I am excited for the team to get to work.”
The Republic will publish their work in its print editions and on azcentral.com. The coverage also will be available to news organizations outside Maricopa County.
Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues and communities. An initiative of The GroundTruth Project, a nonprofit media organization, it aims to tap into the skills and idealism of emerging journalists.
The Republic already is a host newsroom for Report for America. Megan Taros, who joined the staff in 2020, covers south Phoenix.
Latch, Lapidus and Taros are among more than 300 Report for America corps members who will be working in newsrooms in 2022. Report for America has placed journalists in more than 200 newsrooms across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam.
The two-year program, with an option for three years, pays up to half of the journalists’ salaries and provides training and mentorship opportunities.
Taros’ work in 2022, and coverage for the northern Arizona reporter, also is supported by grants from the Vitalyst Health Foundation.
Report for America provides partial funding for the rural news reporting positions. The Republic is seeking additional funding from those interested in the coverage. Email Stacy Sullivan at email@example.com.