Alejandra Rubio for Sierra Nevada Ally

About RNN

The Rural News Network is a project of the Institute for Nonprofit News, a resource hub for more than 425 nonprofit newsrooms dedicated to producing journalism as a public service.

Defining ‘Rural’

As an INN member, we would consider you for the Rural News Network if one or more of the following applies to your coverage area and news plan:

It includes remote towns, unincorporated areas

It includes a city or county with a resource-based economic history – such as logging, mining, agriculture, tourism seasonality

It includes communities of people who must travel lengthy distances to obtain basic goods and services, like groceries, health care, school or fuel

There are geographic features that affect access and transportation such as mountains or islands

It includes a town, a community, a county without a dedicated, on-the-ground news source

RNN Leadership

Alana Rocha


Alana Rocha leads INN’s Rural News Network — its most ambitious collaboration to date. As editor, Alana works with 70 member outlets in 46 states to guide and amplify coverage of remote areas. Alana joined INN after 20 years as a news and politics reporter in Florida, Kansas and Texas. Most recently, she worked for The Texas Tribune — a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization based in Austin — directing news partnerships and producing award-winning multimedia journalism in English and in Spanish.


Bridget Thoreson 


Bridget Thoreson works with INN member newsrooms to frame, fund and execute project-based editorial collaborations, ongoing partnerships and collaborative networks. Prior to INN, she worked with more than 100 newsrooms on audience engagement strategies at Hearken and served as project manager for Election SOS. She’s also held reporting, editing and audience development roles at a daily newspaper and magazine publisher.


Jonathan Kealing


Jonathan Kealing strengthens collaboration among nonprofit newsrooms in the INN Network and develops partnerships and services that help them meet their missions and increase the reach and impact of their journalism. Jonathan oversees the Amplify News Project among Midwest newsrooms piloting news sharing and distribution models. He is especially interested in ways local and regional news organizations can work together and with national organizations to extend the impact of their journalism.



These news leaders are advising us on the buildout and growth of this consortium of newsrooms covering rural America. The board members represent a solid mix of the RNN membership. Their newsrooms vary in geographic location, audience, outlet size and language.

Nic Garcia

Nic Garcia


Nic coordinates state politics and policy coverage from The Texas Tribune reporters who live outside of the major metropolitan areas. A native of Colorado, he began his professional journalism career at Out Front, a Denver-based magazine that is one of the oldest LGBTQ news organizations in the U.S. Nic went on to work as a reporter or editor at Chalkbeat, The Denver Post and The Dallas Morning News. Most recently, he was the politics editor at The Des Moines Register. Nic is based in Dallas.

Adam Giorgi

Director of Planning & Program Development, Center for Rural Strategies

Adam leads efforts to expand the reach and impact of the work done through the Center for Rural Strategies, the publisher and parent organization of The Daily Yonder. He received his master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he supported numerous research projects on the sustainability of journalism and health of America’s civic culture. He’s worked in digital communications for a variety of organizations, including the administration of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, NBC News, Best Buy and more. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota and originally hails from a small town on the “Iron Range,” a rural region in the northern part of the state.

Walter Gómez

co-founder, Enlace Latino NC

Walter is the managing editor of Enlace Latino NC – North Carolina’s first nonprofit digital news organization in Spanish. Its reporters produce independent, non-partisan, public service journalism to empower the state’s diverse community of Latinx immigrants to become more involved in the political and social changes that affect them. Walter, an Argentine journalist with more than 20 national journalism awards from the National Association of Hispanic Publications of the United States (NAHP), lives in Raleigh.

Trip Jennings

executive director, New Mexico In Depth

Trip is executive director of New Mexico In Depth – a digital-first, nonpartisan news organization focused on investigative, data-rich stories with an eye on solutions. Trip is an award-winning veteran journalist who has worked at newspapers across the nation – including in California, Connecticut and Georgia. Besides working at the Albuquerque Journal and Santa Fe New Mexican, he was part of a team that started the New Mexico Independent, an influential online newspaper. Trip lives north of Albuquerque in Rio Rancho.

Kimberly Spencer

senior director of development, Capital B

Kimberly is responsible for all philanthropic work at Capital B – a Black-led, nonprofit local and national news organization reporting for Black communities across the country. She is focused on building the support Capital B needs not just for its Atlanta and national reporting, but as it scales to additional locations. Kimberly grew up in rural Maine and appreciates the importance of local news in rural communities. Prior to joining Capital B, she worked in similar roles at Chalkbeat and Public News Service. Kimberly is a revenue coach for Local Independent Online News (LION) publishers. She is based in Colorado.


The Institute for Nonprofit News receives funding for the Rural News Network from organizations that care about independent journalism. Financial supporters have no say in editorial decisions.

Major funding provided by:

Collaborations and internships supported by:

Interested in supporting RNN? Get in touch with us today.


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