Monday, January 20, 2014

Washington Post lists best state-capital reporters, at least those who are on Twitter

The ranks of state-capital reporters have thinned in recent years, along with the rest of major newspaper staffs, but there are still plenty of good gumshoes out there, and they are being joined by some sharp online and public-broadcast journalists -- and some with big rural audiences. Reid Wilson of The Washington Post assembled a list, with the help of his readers, of those they consider best in each state; here are most of those with non-metropolitan bases or big rural constituencies, with links to their Twitter feeds (a requirement for Wilson's list):

Dermot Cole, Alaska
Alaska: Dermot Cole of the Alaska Dispatch, an online outlet that covers the state with the most rural and extreme landscape.

Florida: Brandon Larrabee of the online News Service of Florida.

IdahoMelissa Davlin, host of "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television.

IowaO. Kay Henderson, news director of public Radio Iowa, Mike Wiser of Davenport-based Lee Enterprises, and James Lynch and Rod Boshart of the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Ronnie Ellis, Kentucky
Kentucky: Ronnie Ellis of Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., serving five dailies and six weeklies, all but one in Appalachia and none with a circulation larger than 15,000.

Maine: Chris Cousins, Bangor Daily News.

Michigan: Rick Pluta of Michigan Public Radio and Melissa Anders of MLive, a service of Booth Newspapers.

MinnesotaTom Scheck and Tim Pugmire of Minnesota Public Radio.

Mississippi: Bobby Harrison of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo, the nation's largest rural newspaper (daily circulation 37,000).

Montana: Tom Lutey of the Billings Gazette and Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison of Lee Enterprises., owner of the Gazette and papers in Buttle, Helena, Missoula and Hamilton.

Deena Winter, Nebraska
Nebraska: Deena Winter of, a service of the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, which has strong conservative roots but says its news outlets are editorially independent. Our experience with them is that if they lean, they lean to the right. They figured large in a 2010 report by Gene Gibbons of Harvard University's Shorenstein Center on coverage of state governments. A quick look at Winter's work shows no apparent bias, other than capitalizing the first word in Fox News. It's not an acronym.

New Hampshire: Josh Rogers of New Hampshire Public Radio.

South Dakota: David Montgomery of the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls.

Vermont: Anne Galloway, founder of, part of the Investigative News Network. Unlike the Franklin Center, INN reveals its donors.

Wyoming: Laura Hancock and Kyle Roerink of the Casper Star-Tribune.

For the sake of space, we have not included reporters for newspapers that are based in state capitals and those for The Associated Press, the major source of state-capital news for rural newspapers (almost all dailies). Many of both were included in Wilson's list.

No comments: