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Articles by Deron Lee | Email the Author

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How a Nebraska newspaper kicked off a major prison sentencing scandal

The Omaha World-Herald found that hundreds of inmates were being released early

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS — “Had the World-Herald not broken the story, nothing would have happened.” So said Nebraska state Sen.... More

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In Ferguson, local news coverage shines

‘At so many of these press events, the speakers keep making the point that these cameras will go away…We won’t go away’

Reporter Chris Reginer and cameraman Mike Border of St. Louis' KPLR-11 at the police command post in Jennings, MO, interviewing... More

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Why we should be wary with a new survey showing a spike in uninsured Kansans

“It’s a weird one,” the research director says of a surprising result in the Sunflower State

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS — “Bottom line, Rep. [Tim] Huelskamp appears to be utterly full of hooey,” Charles Gaba of ACASignups.net told... More

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Why one editor won’t run any more op-eds by the Heritage Foundation’s top economist

A reply to Paul Krugman on state taxes and job growth made some incorrect claims

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS — “I won’t be running anything else from Stephen Moore.” So says Miriam Pepper, editorial page editor... More

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Embedded with the Koch brothers

Hometown reporters get rare access to the media-shy oilmen, with mixed results

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS — “I’m so hopeful that there will be something, SOMETHING in the world out there besides ‘Evil... More

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This Kansas City reporter was laid off twice in a year—but her work has just helped change a state law

A long-sought open-records victory is also a personal redemption story

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS — The last two years have been a roller-coaster ride for Karen Dillon. The award-winning veteran investigative... More

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Hogs, guns, and money

We heard about a Senate candidate’s “Make ‘em squeal” ad. The outside spending that supported her? Not so much

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS — Who is Joni Ernst? According to media reports, she’s a “Harley-riding, pistol-packing,” “hog-castrating” farmer, Iraq veteran,... More

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The Des Moines Register’s dissent

Iowa’s largest paper tries to shift the state’s culture toward transparency

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS — In its own polite, Midwestern fashion, The Des Moines Register is mad as heck and is not going... More

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How the First Amendment challenge to lethal-injection secrecy came together

Media organizations take the transparency fight to court in Missouri

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS — Missouri’s death-penalty regime took two shots across the bow on Thursday, as dual lawsuits were filed... More

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Post-Dispatch disparities

While execs at parent company Lee Enterprises get bonuses, newsrooms in St. Louis and elsewhere are “simmering the furniture”

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS -- Scott Bujnak might be the first carpenter to obtain “folk hero” status in a newsroom. Bujnak,... More

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Fiber boost for local journalism?

Journalists should take up the fight for municipal-fiber networks in their communities, argues open-internet advocate Susan Crawford

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS -- This is a pivotal time for telecommunications policy. The proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger gets a... More

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The First Amendment vs. death penalty secrecy laws

In Missouri, it’s against the law to name pharmacies that produce drugs for lethal injections. Two news organizations did so anyway. What happens next?

From 1995 to 2006, when the state of Missouri executed a convict by lethal injection, the process was overseen by... More

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All (abortion) politics is national

State policy on other issues is increasingly national, too. Here’s how local reporters can tell more complete stories

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS -- "An abortion facility in Missouri would need to be inspected at least four times annually under... More

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Q&A: Trudy Lieberman on rural health news

CJR’s healthcare expert talks about her efforts to help fill the news gap in parts of Nebraska, South Dakota, and Colorado

Just as many rural communities face healthcare gaps--shortages of doctors, hospitals, and insurers--many also face healthcare-journalism gaps, as we reported... More

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Obamacare and the rural coverage gap

Small communities are underserved when it comes to healthcare—and healthcare journalism

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS -- Back when Al Cross was a newspaper reporter, he now admits, "I avoided healthcare stories like... More

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Sunshine peeks through in Iowa

A long-awaited public-information board is open for business in Des Moines, but the battle for government transparency is far from over

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS -- On Nov. 14, the newly-minted Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB), whose formation was the result of... More

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Beacon of hope in St. Louis?

Nonprofit newsrooms team up to swing for the fences—minus the Cardinals coverage

FAIRWAY, KS -- So much for Midwestern reserve. The St. Louis Beacon, a digital news startup founded in 2008, and... More

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Aggregating Congress

Smaller papers can’t put boots on the ground in Washington, but the Web offers ways to keep tabs without leaving the newsroom.

FAIRWAY, KS -- In the five days leading up to the government shutdown on Oct. 1, Rep. Tim Huelskamp of... More

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Showdown, shutdown, fallout

With the Obamacare fight threatening to shutter the government, reporters should keep the spotlight on their local members of Congress

FAIRWAY, KS -- "I was not sent to Washington to shut down the federal government," Sen. Mike Johanns told the... More

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Invasion of the Job Snatcher

As the Missouri media takes up arms against Rick Perry, some facts and context get lost in the fray

FAIRWAY, KS -- Texas and Missouri no longer square off as Big 12 opponents, but governors Rick Perry and Jay... More

The Tea Party is timeless - Richard Hofstadter’s Anti-Intellectualism In American Life reviewed

How misinformation goes viral: a Truthy story - Conservative media’s reaction to an Indiana University project shows how shoddy information can quickly become an online narrative

Do you know Elise Andrew? - The creator of the Facebook page “I fucking love science” is journalism’s first self-made brand

Goodbye and good luck to all of us - Dean Starkman on leaving CJR

When quitting goes viral - Thanks to social media, resignations get a global audience


This Is How Joanna Coles Changed Cosmo (Refinery29)

The British reporter-turned-editor has made good on her promises to bring politics to the magazine, win some very big-deal journalism awards, and secure the most interesting exclusive interviews

Awareness, #Awareness, and Ray Rice (The Classical)

The coverage of Ray Rice’s punch is not translating into offering information on domestic violence

Bloggingheads

Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute

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Who Owns What

The Business of Digital Journalism

A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

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Questions and exercises for journalism students.