Mirtha Donastorg

Mirtha Donastorg reports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She is a journalist with experience in TV, digital and radio, and was most recently an associate producer at CNN Digital where she helped curate multiple homepage platforms, as well as craft breaking news alerts viewed by millions daily. As a researcher for CNN, Donastorg fact-checked scripts from correspondents all over the globe and most notably, reported on the conviction of an abusive Catholic priest. Outside of work, she shares her love of soul music from around the world as a host of a weekly two-hour local radio show. Donastorg grew up in Auburn, Alabama. She’s a proud alumna of North Carolina State University, and is fluent in Spanish and French.

Mountain Times Publications

Mountain Times Publications is composed of five weekly newspapers serving three rural counties of western North Carolina. The main newsroom is based in Boone, N.C., home to Appalachian State University's 19,000 students. The staff includes seven reporters and three editors to cover 100 square miles of mountain communities, many of which rely on the printed newspaper because internet access is limited.

The Columbus Dispatch

The Columbus Dispatch has been serving central Ohio and beyond since 1871 with news and information about central Ohio, the state and the nation. As a capital city newspaper, news about how state government affects Ohioans is a focal point. The Dispatch shares its reporting with news organizations across the state.

KERA / The Texas Newsroom

NPR and Texas public radio stations collaborated to form the Texas News Hub. It’s the first step in a systemwide collaborative project to create a nationwide virtual public radio newsroom of 1,000-plus journalists. The collaboration includes two daily, hour-long statewide programs (Texas Standard and Think) and will soon include six daily statewide newscasts, and a statewide digital news desk. The Hub is working to hire and train freelance and small station reporters to provide news service to underserved communities in the state’s news deserts.

Kailey Broussard

Kailey Broussard is an accountability reporter covering Arlington, Texas for KERA/The Texas Newsroom. With a population of almost 400,000 people, Arlington is among the nation’s largest cities with no daily professional news presence. While pursuing her journalism degree at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, she reported on Arizona’s congressional delegation in Washington D.C., pedestrian fatalities in the Sun Belt, and Venezuelan refugees in Peru as well as U.S. disaster response through a 2019 Carnegie-Knight News21 reporting fellowship. She holds an MMC from Arizona State University and a B.A. from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Originally from Louisiana, Broussard spent two years interning and freelancing for The Advocate in Baton Rouge and four years as a staff writer and editor for her student paper, The Vermilion. Her work has won recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists regions 11 and 12, Southeast Journalism Conference, Arizona Press Club, and Broadcast Education Association.

Yilun Cheng

Yilun Cheng reports for The Columbus Dispatch, examining the challenges facing central Ohio's growing immigrant and refugee communities. Before joining The Dispatch, Cheng wrote for Slate, the Chicago Reader, South Side Weekly and Borderless Magazine about immigration and racial equity topics, including law enforcement's anti-immigrant policies, Chicago's housing crisis in Chinatown, racial disparity in Illinois' vaccine rollout and COVID-19's impact on Latino immigrants. Cheng grew up in Tianjin, China. Having studied political science as an undergrad at the University of California, Berkeley and as a grad student at Columbia University, she is attentive to the complex and nuanced ways that national policies impact the lives of local residents. During her graduate studies at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Cheng worked with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Debbie Cenziper of The Washington Post on two projects focusing on immigration.

Akron Beacon Journal

The Akron Beacon Journal provides comprehensive news coverage primarily for Summit and Stark counties in post-industrial Northeast Ohio. We frequently publish deep-dive enterprise reports on a wide variety of topics. These newsroom also leads the joint news efforts of GateHouse Media in Northeast Ohio, which includes numerous other daily media sites and weekly publications. Overall, GateHouse serves 10 counties in Northeast Ohio and a population of 1.2 million residents. We also work closely with GateHouse’s Columbus Dispatch for Statehouse and regional news coverage.

Abbey Marshall

Abbey Marshall covers Akron city government for the Akron Beacon Journal in Akron, Ohio.  Marshall is a 2020 graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, where she studied on a full academic scholarship awarded to a student pursuing a career in reporting. Throughout her collegiate career, she completed two internships at The Columbus Dispatch as a metro reporter and web producer. She recently returned from Washington, D.C., where she covered breaking news as an intern at Politico. Having worked at a nonprofit in Mumbai, studied French and media in Aix-en-Provence and covered politics in the nation’s capital, she ultimately realized she missed the state she calls home and the fight for solid local journalism.

Joshua Yeager

Joshua Yeager covers the environment, rural issues and local governments for the Visalia Times-Delta newspaper in the heart of the agricultural San Joaquin Valley. He has devoted his three-year career at the paper to exposing inequalities in Tulare County towns suffering contaminated and insufficient drinking water. He won a first-place California News Papers Association award for his coverage of Sierra Nevada’s historic 2020 wildfire season. An avid Sierra hiker, he has recently investigated forest management policy oversights that have resulted in the death of thousands of giant sequoia trees.

Quenton King

Quenton King is the public health reporter for Mountain State Spotlight. He is a native West Virginian, born and raised in Charles Town in the Eastern Panhandle. He previously worked as a policy analyst for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. His past research and organizing work focused on criminal justice, public health, and environmental justice issues. Quenton holds a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University and a master's of public health from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.