New members of Lee’s public service journalism team bring expertise in a variety of news areas, including public safety, public health, government, social justice and the environment.
Regional public service journalism teams will help reporters in local markets access public records, track taxpayer dollars and government spending, examine data related to health, crime and safety issues, and to serve as watchdogs for communities across the country. In their previous reporting roles in both Lee’s newsrooms and other news markets, the work of these team members has helped free the innocent, put the guilty behind bars and to change the laws.
Senior Journalist Patrick Wilson: Member of the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s state political team since 2017. Previously worked at the Virginian-Pilot, the Winston-Salem Journal and the Potomac News in Northern Virginia. Originally from Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in journalism. Was a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network and reported on the influence of Virginia’s largest electric utility on state energy law in 2020, a project that resulted in first place for reporting by investigation by the Virginia Press Association. Awarded the Virginia Coalition for Open Government’s FOI Media Award for its use of public records showing that a former state lieutenant governor helped secure a job at a public university where he served on the board of trustees.
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Alison Burdo: Journalist for The Press of Atlantic City and member of the Local Reporting Network at ProPublica, where his investigative work over the past 10 months has focused on the casino industry and its impact on the local community. Prior to joining the South Jersey News Organization, she supported the launch of the nonprofit Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting. Previously, she was a digital reporter at the Philadelphia Business Journal, where her ongoing media coverage of the city’s soft drink tax won her a Keystone Press Award, and NBC10 in Philadelphia, where she was part of the reporting team that won an Edward R. Murrow Regional. Award. His reporting has also appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, WHYY’s Billy Penn, Green Philly, Crain’s Chicago Business, and WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight.”
Virginia Annable: Virginia Annable joins the Hickory Daily Record Eastern Public Service Journalism Team in Catawba County, North Carolina. She covered local news, business and government in western North Carolina for five years. While at the Daily Record, Annable worked on several statewide projects, including efforts with the North Carolina News Collaborative focused on growth and business. His project on North Carolina’s economic recovery after COVID-19 was selected for a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Annable’s data-driven reporting work includes an in-depth analysis of COVID-19 vaccine distribution and a survey of life expectancy in various North Carolina locations. Annable also worked at Lenoir News-Topic in Caldwell County, North Carolina. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida in Gainesville, where during the 2016 presidential election she reported for Electionland, a collaboration with ProPublica focused on investigating cases of voter fraud and repression. .
Hayleigh Colombo: Hayleigh Colombo is a Columbus, Ohio-based journalist specializing in public affairs reporting. Since 2019, she has been a reporter for Columbus Business First, covering workforce issues, education and diversity. Previously, Colombo was a reporter for the Indianapolis Business Journal, covering city affairs, including issues of poverty and inequality. Hayleigh was a K-12 education reporter for the nonprofit online news platform Chalkbeat Indiana. She also worked as a business and higher education reporter for the Lafayette Journal & Courier in Indiana. Hayleigh graduated from Butler University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science. She is currently president of the Central Ohio Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Senior Journalist Lauren Cross: Lauren joined Lee Enterprises in 2016 as a last minute cop/reporter with the Northwest Indiana Public Safety Team, immediately distinguishing herself as a prolific and highly analytical reporter, generating some of the numbers of ‘highest users and pages in one of Lee’s most important news. markets. Lauren quickly became a high-impact investigative journalist, covering the urban core of northwest Indiana and shining a light on issues plaguing underserved communities. She has won top National Investigative Journalists and Editors and National Society of Professional Journalists awards for her investigative work exposing and exposing the public corruption that led to a major contamination and lead poisoning problem in East Chicago, Indiana. In 2020, Lauren became the Midwest Special Projects Reporter, helping guide award-winning investigations into police diversity issues in the Midwest amid widespread civil unrest and rioting. For the past year, Lauren has been the editor of the Southern Illinoisan at Carbondale and is now joining the ranks of investigative journalism where she has found so much success.
Molly Parker: Veteran investigative projects reporter at Southern Illinoisan since 2014. Works on second ProPublica Investigative Reporting Fellowship. Molly specializes in bringing to light injustices involving children, families and the mentally handicapped, including a recently released investigation detailing a systemic pattern of abuse at a state-run hospital facility in Illinois.
Analisa Trofimuk: Formerly an investigative/projects reporter for the Bloomington Pantagraph, and most recently an investigative reporter and researcher for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Better Government Association in Chicago. Analisa is completing the final stages of her Masters in Data Journalism from DePaul and has joined Lee’s Midwest team as a data scientist. Analisa has already coached and led data initiatives in newsrooms across the Midwest in her first few weeks on the job, including major work on “What’s Killing Our Regions?” childhood obesity project and initiative.
Karen Robinson-Jacobs: Most recently a Report for America fellow at the St. Louis American with reporting and editorial positions at the Dallas Morning News, Los Angeles Times and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Expert in shining the spotlight on investigations surrounding racial injustice and diversity. Karen is already diving into a major data survey on issues of diversity, inequality, and police accountability in the Midwest.
Senior reporter Marina Trahan Martinez: Marina Trahan Martinez has forged a distinguished multimedia career in investigative and social justice journalism. A native of Corpus Christi and a journalism graduate of the University of Texas-Arlington, she has worked at both Dallas-area community newspapers and also worked for more than 11 years twice at the Dallas Morning News. For five years, she worked as a reporter, producer and editor in Morning News’ Watchdog desk. During this time, she appeared on air weekly representing Team Watchdog on KXAS-TV. Trahan Martinez was a member of the Dallas Morning News coverage team that was a 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Breaking News for his coverage of police shootings at a Black Lives Matter rally. She has done freelance reporting for The New York Times since 2001, and she has worked under contract for ABC News 20/20 since 2019, reporting and producing stories related to North Texas. She has also served the public with the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, and on Latinx community initiatives and journalism fellowship committees, including founding the Hispanic Families Network, Storytellers Without Borders, and the Robert Journalism Fellowship. W. Mong Jr.
Corey Jones: Graduated in 2009 from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. Worked at the Topeka Capital-Journal for almost a decade. Joined Tulsa World in 2014 as a news reporter, becoming the world’s leading reporter on the pandemic and a reporter on projects, including a hard-hitting report on deaths caused by Oklahoma Highway Patrol lawsuits. His work has been honored by Leadership Tulsa, Great Plains Journalism, Inland Press Association, Associated Press/Oklahoma News Executives, Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists, Kansas City Press Club, Kansas Press Association, and National Association of Black Journalists (Tulsa).
Emilie Hammer: Wisconsin State Journal reporter and photojournalist, now based in Houston. Started her career at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, where she produced an award-winning series on how the state’s cash bail system disproportionately imprisons the poor. Covered criminal justice, government for the Wisconsin State Journal. Hamer told important stories about prisoners dying of COVID-19, detainees placed in the same cells as those exposed to the virus, and food and clothing shortages at a military base housing 13,000 Afghan refugees.
Ted McDermott: Ted McDermott is an experienced reporter and editor who has covered the environment, growth, extremism and crime, among many other topics, for North West newspapers for a decade. McDermott profiled the far-right Montana militia member who led the armed resistance at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch; examined the legacy of uranium mining on tribal lands in eastern Washington; covered police misconduct in northern Idaho; and explored the ramifications of a political murder during a protest in Portland, Oregon. His four-part investigation into child substance abuse at a residential psychiatric treatment center for adolescents in Montana led to its closure, while his investigation into end-of-life treatment at Montana State Hospital led the governor of Montana to launch an external review that led to recommendations for significant changes in patient care.
In addition to his work as a journalist, McDermott has published novels, including a novel, “The Minor Outsider”, and essays, which earned him an Essay Award nomination. He lives in Spokane, Washington, with his family.