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Articles by Deron Lee | Email the Author

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Des Moines Register prepares for a ‘very stressful’ newsroom restructuring

Editor Amalie Nash speaks on turnover, transformation, and a virtual reality adventure

Amalie Nash became editor of the Des Moines Register earlier this year, at a time of transition for Iowa’s largest... More

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How Iowa reporters are teaming up to cover a tight Senate race

Eight papers use a new transparency tool to get a handle on the political ad wars

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS — Politics has long been a key beat for Iowa media. But today, political campaigns in the... More

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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

The ethics of The Guardian’s Whisper bombshell - It would have been a journalistic lapse not to have told readers

Gawker: The internet bully - Nick Denton’s media empire is an intellectual online fraternity that invites people to their parties only to make them buy the booze

The Washington Post short-sells a reporter’s integrity - Steven Pearlstein smears TheStreet’s Adam Feuerstein for criticizing a biotech firm

Former Sun-Times staffers react to top reporter’s resignation - “Whereas we don’t have all the answers, we have way too many questions about what happened here”

Stop trolling your readers - We know you’re only doing it for clicks


Which news org is the most trusted? (Pew)

The answer is complicated

‘My Captivity’ (NYT Mag)

An American journalist on his two-year kidnapping in Syria

FBI faked an AP story, in Seattle Times style, to catch a suspect (Seattle Times)

“‘We are outraged that the FBI, with the apparent assistance of the US Attorney’s Office, misappropriated the name of The Seattle Times to secretly install spyware on the computer of a crime suspect,’ said Seattle Times Editor Kathy Best”

How one reporter copes inside the ‘Ebola bubble’ (BuzzFeed)

“Bring gloves to give nurses you meet at clinics, even if you’re there for a story. Get small change to give to the kids who have been out of school for months and are selling ground nuts for pitiful sums on the side of road. Hell, give them candy. Violate all the principles of ostensibly good aid stewardship, because the good stewardship of the developed world didn’t get help here in time, and now everyone is dying around you.”

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

Study Guides

Questions and exercises for journalism students.