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Emmy-winning journalist Alana Rocha to lead INN’s Rural News Network

June 8, 2022

Emmy-winning journalist Alana Rocha has been named to lead the Rural News Network — the most ambitious collaboration to date from the Institute for Nonprofit News.

As the Editor, Rural News Network and Special Projects, Rocha will guide the launch of the INN Rural News Network in 2022. She will work with members to identify the most compelling rural journalism across the INN Network and expand and amplify these stories through collaboration. More than 60 outlets in 30 states have already signed up to participate.

Alana Rocha will guide the launch of the INN Rural News Network in 2022.

Rocha is a longtime journalist who for the past 20 years has covered news in Florida, Kansas and Texas. She’s spent nearly the past decade at one of INN’s most prominent member newsrooms, The Texas Tribune.

“I grew up in this business covering rural America. I’m excited to return to my roots to help guide and amplify coverage of INN’s Rural News Network,” Rocha said.

The consortium will shine a lens on the most pressing issues facing rural communities across this country, with a particular focus on communities of color that are often ignored by traditional media. Two newsrooms known nationally for their rural and agricultural coverage will serve as hubs for the reporting collaboratives: The Daily Yonder, providing news about and for rural America, and Investigate Midwest, with an emphasis on agribusiness.

“Alana has an outstanding track record of driving innovative public service journalism across platforms,” said Bridget Thoreson, INN’s director of collaborations. “We’re thrilled she’s joining our team to spotlight and support the incredible journalism INN members across the country produce daily.”

During her tenure with the nonpartisan, nonprofit Tribune, Rocha produced award-winning video stories that have garnered several national and regional Edward R. Murrow and ONA awards as well as the Tribune’s first and only Emmy, launched more than one podcast, traveled the country covering the Texans running for the White House, moderated live events, managed and grew its fellowship program, and learned the business side of the Tribune overseeing news partnerships.

“In nearly a decade at the Tribune, Alana established herself as a multimedia innovator and a trusted representative of our journalism,” said Editor-in-Chief Sewell Chan. “Through projects like State of Mind, 13 Hours to Midnight, and God and Governing, she demonstrated her commitment to innovation. Alana’s new role at INN is a logical outgrowth of her strong work as our director of news partnerships over the past year. We will miss her deeply, but are thrilled that Alana’s leadership will now be shared with the broader nonprofit news community.”

A native of Tampa, Rocha graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in Spanish and telecommunications. She is a member of the 2022 cohort of the Online News Association Women’s Leadership Accelerator. She now resides in Austin with her husband, two kids and feisty Boston terrier, Pearl. If you’d like to reach out to Rocha, she can be reached at Her first day at INN is June 27.

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