The journalists

Experienced government reporters in every state collected data on 330 different aspects of corruption risk, such as campaign financing, judicial accountability, lobbying regulations, and public records laws. They conducted hundred of interviews and pored over volumes of state statutes, regulations, and public records. Their research drove the rankings and report cards of each state government's corruption risk. The reporters also prepared overview articles for each state, which can be found on the Investigation's state pages.

Sean Cockerham (AK) covers state politics for the Anchorage Daily News. He's worked for the ADN in Anchorage and the state capital of Juneau, covered the Legislature for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, and covered Washington state politics for the Tacoma News Tribune.

Edward Mullins (AL) is a former dean of journalism and communication who in retirement directs research and communication for the Center for Community-Based Partnerships at the University of Alabama. He has a Ph.D. in mass communication research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has kept his hand in both journalism and journalism education for the past 50 years, sometimes working simultaneously in both in such places as Atlanta, Ga.; Ft. Hood and Temple, Texas; Columbus and Dayton, Ohio; Raleigh, N.C.; and in numerous towns and cities in Alabama. In 2003, he co-directed, with the AP as partner, a survey of all 67 counties that led to a new open-records law in Alabama.

James Jefferson (AR) is a reporter at the Arkansas News Bureau in Little Rock.

Maureen West (AZ) is a regular correspondent for The Chronicle of Philanthropy and the AARP Bulletin. She teaches news writing at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She has a master's degree in nonprofit studies from Arizona State University and a certificate in program evaluation from Claremont Graduate University. She was previously a reporter and editor for The Arizona Republic.

Lorie Hearn (CA), founder and executive director of the nonprofit Watchdog Institute, is partnering with veteran journalist Carol Goodhue Shull on the State Integrity Investigation in California. Lorie worked for five newspapers on both coasts during her traditional journalism career. She was Senior Editor for Metro and Investigations at The San Diego Union-Tribune until 2009, when she departed to start the Institute at San Diego State University's School of Journalism & Media Studies. During Carol's 38 years in journalism, she worked in various roles -- writer, editor, trainer and ombudsman -- at California newspapers, including the Union-Tribune and the San Jose Mercury-News. She now teaches English as a second language.

Hope Hamashige (CO) is an award-winning writer and editor who has worked at the Los Angeles Times and CNN. She has also freelanced for dozens of national news outlets, including National Geographic, NBC, The Wall Street Journal, and Details magazine. She can be reached via email at

Paul Stern (CT) is a freelance writer and chef in Connecticut. After a decade as a reporter in New Jersey and Florida, he spent 22 years at the Hartford Courant in various editing capacities including deputy state editor. He is the founder of The Hartford Courant Alumni Association and Refugee Camp.

Cris Barrish (DE) is senior reporter at The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., where he has worked as a political, crime, sports and general assignment reporter since 1982. He co-authored the book Fatal Embrace: The Inside Story of the Thomas Capano/Anne Marie Fahey Murder Case and has won dozens of regional and national awards, including the 2010 Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi  Public Service Award and the 2011 University of Colorado's Al Nakkula Award for crime reporting.

Dan Christensen (FL) is a former investigative reporter for The Miami Herald and the founding editor of Broward Bulldog - Florida's first independent, nonprofit regional news site staffed by professional journalists. You can visit Broward Bulldog at You can follow Broward Bulldog on Facebook or on Twitter @BrowardBulldog

Jim Walls (GA) retired in 2008 as investigations editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where his prize-winning work included projects on the death penalty, federal crop subsidies, child prostitution, refugee resettlement, and the deaths of scores of disabled adults after the closing of a state hospital. Now he runs the watchdog news website, which has won several local media prizes and earned him a 2011 Democracy Award from Common Cause Georgia.

John Temple (HI) is the editor of Honolulu Civil Beat. His most recent position before that was editor, president and publisher of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver. As editor, John led the Rocky to four Pulitzer Prizes and numerous other awards from 1998 to 2009, when the paper closed. You can follow John on Twitter at @johntempleCB.

Stephen J. Berry and Zack Kucharski (IA) – Berry - a former Los Angeles Times reporter - is associate professor of journalism at the University of Iowa and co-founder and interim executive director-editor of IowaWatch, the news website of The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism. He is the author Watchdog Journalism: The Art of Investigative Reporting (Oxford 2009). At the Orlando Sentinel, he co-authored a project that won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. Follow Iowa Watch on Twitter @IowaWatch. Kucharski is senior manager of topical content for Sourcemedia Group in Cedar Rapids and oversees a variety of reporting teams. He has worked as a database editor and spent several years covering the education, public safety and city government beats in Johnson County since joining The Gazette in 2000. Kucharski is a graduate from The University of Iowa and grew up in Chicago.

Amanda Vinicky (IL) is the statehouse reporter for Illinois Public Radio. Follow Amanda on Twitter @AmandaVinicky.

Betsy Russell (ID) is the Boise, Idaho bureau chief for The Spokesman-Review newspaper, where she covers Idaho state government and writes the “Eye on Boise” blog. She is the president of the Idaho Press Club and president and a founding board member of Idahoans for Openness in Government (IDOG). She is a graduate of the University of California-Berkeley and holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. She can be found on Twitter at @betsyzrussell.

Gerry Lanosga (IN) is an assistant professor of journalism at Ball State University. Before returning to academia in 2007, he was a print and broadcast journalist for nearly 20 years in Indianapolis. His investigative work has won numerous national awards, including an IRE Medal, a Silver Baton in the duPont-Columbia Awards, and a George Foster Peabody award. His teaching and research interests include investigative reporting, media law and journalism history.

Peter Hancock (KS) is a veteran political reporter in Kansas. From 2000 to 2008 he was the statehouse bureau chief for Kansas Public Radio. He currently publishes The Kansas Education Policy Report, an online news service focusing on K-12 and higher education in Kansas. Follow @pqhancock on Twitter.

Jacalyn Carfagno (KY) has worked as a business reporter, business editor and editorial writer, and journalism teacher. She's now a freelance writer and editor. She was awarded a Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in 1997 and completed a master’s in journalism at Columbia University. Her work as a writer and editor has earned state, regional and national awards.

Mark Ballard (LA) is editor of The Baton Rouge Advocate’s Capitol news bureau.

Maggie Mulvihill (MA) is the co-director and senior investigative producer of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. Mulvihill is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years’ experience in print and broadcast reporting in New England, specializing in investigative journalism.  A former media lawyer, Mulvihill serves on the Steering Committee of the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press in Washington D.C. She was a 2004-2005 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, focusing on government secrecy and its implications for news organizations. Mulvihill is active in freedom of information and open government issues and serves on the board of directors of the New England First Amendment Coalition. Mulvihill has taught journalism at the Harvard University Summer School and Emerson College and is a clinical professor of Journalism at Boston University.

Christian Bourge (MD) is a freelance investigative journalist with over 15 years of experience covering Congress and the federal government for National Journal, UPI, and as a columnist for the Washington Times. Currently editing Capitol Hill Tweet Watch and writing a book on the first lawsuits against the Catholic Church for pedophile clergy, his views can be heard weekly on The Capitol Hill Blues radio show via XM Radio 165 and Pacifica Radio outlets nationwide. He also pens The Disenchanted Journo blog.Follow Christian on Twitter @DCHANTEDJOURNO.

Naomi Schalit (ME) is a senior reporter and executive director at the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, a non-partisan, non-profit news service based in Hallowell, Maine. She spent five years as a reporter and producer for Maine Public Radio, where she covered the statehouse and environmental issues. In 2006, she became the opinion page editor for the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel and left that position when the papers were sold in 2009. Schalit and other writers at the Center produce news stories about state and local governments and probe the records of candidates for public office; those stories are distributed via the web and through 21 media partners throughout Maine as a public service.

Chris Andrews (MI) was the political editor for the Lansing State Journal for 21 years.  He is a freelance writer and communications consultant and has taught journalism at Michigan State University.

Ahndi Fridell (MN) is a former News Director at KFAI Radio in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  She is an independent audio, video and print journalist and is a freelance reporter for Reuters. You can follow Anhdi on Twitter @ahndifridell.

Bobby Harrison (MS) is the Capitol Bureau chief in Jackson for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi.

Mike Sherry (MO) is the founder/executive director of the nonprofit Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, which produces multi-media watchdog reports in Missouri and Kansas. His journalism career includes writing stints at the Kansas City Star and the Omaha World-Herald, among other papers, and at a variety of Washington, D.C., publications, including Congressional Quarterly. He holds a master's degree from the Missouri School of Journalism.

Dennis Swibold (MT) teaches courses in public affairs reporting and investigations at the University of Montana School of Journalism. He wrote a history of the mining industry's influence over Montana's press, and has worked as an editor and reporter for newspapers in Montana and Arizona.

Adam Hochberg (NC) teaches journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and he is a Fellow at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.  He writes a regular column for that monitors and analyzes the effects of the changing media environment on journalism values. For more than fifteen years, Hochberg was a reporter and correspondent for National Public Radio.  Prior to that, he spent a decade covering politics and government for North Carolina radio and television stations.

Teri Finneman (ND) is the multimedia correspondent for Forum Communications Co., working for four North Dakota daily newspapers and two TV stations. She covers state government and works on statewide enterprise projects. She was the David Kaplan fellow for ABC News in 2009 and received her master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. She is a co-author of Swinging for the Fences: Black Baseball in Minnesota.

Kevin O'Hanlon (NE) is a statehouse reporter for the Lincoln Journal Star. He is a former statehouse reporter and news editor for The Associated Press and also worked at several other daily newspapers, including the Omaha World-Herald and The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Colleen O'Dea (NJ) is a New Jersey-based freelance writer and editor-at-large at NJSpotlight, New Jersey Business and North Jersey Patch sites. She previously worked almost 26 years for the Daily Record of Morris County, including stints as its data analyst, statehouse reporter, and a general assignment writer. During nearly 30 years in the news business, she also worked for The Record of Hackensack, was a contributing editor to New Jersey Reporter magazine, and was a frequent guest on two public television shows: Reporters Roundtable and Caucus: New Jersey.

David King (NY) is the state government editor for the Gotham Gazette in Albany.

Jon Greenberg (NH) is the executive editor at New Hampshire Public Radio. Prior to coming to New Hampshire, Jon was a Washington reporter at National Public Radio. He has degrees from Johns Hopkins University, Syracuse University and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. His work has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Public Radio News Directors Association, the Edward R. Murrow Award for New Media, the James K. Batten Award for Civic Journalism and the Associated Press. Jon was also awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1996-97 that took him to Romania.

Gwyneth Doland (NM) is a multimedia reporter covering government and politics for New Mexico public television (KNME) and public radio (KUNM). She is the former editor of The New Mexico Independent and a former writer and editor at The Santa Fe Reporter and Albuquerque's Weekly Alibi. Gwyneth also teaches in the Communication and Journalism Department at the University of New Mexico. Follow @GwynethDoland on Twitter and find her at

Joan Whitely (NV) of Las Vegas teaches part-time at Nevada State College. During most of her 25 years in Neveda, she worked as a reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal in features and special projects. Whitely is also the author of a social history, Young Las Vegas, 1905-1931: Before the Future Found Us. She holds a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Jon Craig (OH) has covered state and federal government from New York, Washington, D.C., and Ohio for the past 30 years. He won IRE awards in 1994 and 1995 for investigative series on youth detention systems and the New York General Assembly, and a national MADD prize for coverage of repeat drunk driving in 2008. Other award-winning writing focused on nuclear power, coal pollution, capital punishment, and a reexamination of the Kent State shootings.

Ziva Branstetter (OK) is the enterprise editor of the Tulsa World and supervises a team of six investigative reporters. She has won awards for her coverage of nursing homes, juvenile justice and state government. She can be reached on Twitter @ZivaBranstetter.

Lee van der Voo (OR) is a freelance reporter based in Portland, Oregon, where she specializes in accountability journalism following a career in newspapers. Her investigations of police, pollution, campus rape and other topics have received national and local recognition, including a 2009 IRE award.

Peter Durantine (PA) is a free-lance writer, a former reporter with the Associated Press, and now co-publisher and editor of TheBurg,, a free monthly community newspaper in Harrisburg, PA.

Mike Stanton (RI) has been a reporter with The Providence Journal since 1985. He covered the federal corruption probe of Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr. His multi-part series, Vice and Virtue, was published in 2002. His book, The Prince of Providence, was published in 2003 and was a New York Times bestseller.

Corey Hutchins (SC) is a reporter for the Columbia Free Times covering South Carolina politics and is a recipient of the S.C. Press Association's award for in-depth reporting. His work has appeared in The Nation magazine and has recently been mentioned in The Atlantic, GQ, The New York Times and Mother Jones. His book, The Accidental Candidate, recounts the bizarre U.S. Senate candidacy of Alvin Greene in South Carolina. He is a journalism graduate from the State University of New York at Morrisville and has a literature degree from the University of South Carolina.

Denise Ross (SD) covered the South Dakota statehouse and statewide politics for the Rapid City Journal, where she worked for a decade. She directed and produced a documentary, "Unplanned Democracy," about the South Dakota Legislature's historic passage of an abortion ban that was overturned by voters. She has blogged at the Rapid City Journal's Mount Blogmore and her own Hoghouse Blog. She is currently the web editor, with some reporting, at the Mitchell Daily Republic.

Sheila Burke (TN) is a veteran journalist who has spent 10 years working for the Tennessean and the Associated Press of Tennessee. She served as the reporter on Tennessee portion of the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ 2009 Survey of State Government information online.

Kelley Shannon (TX) is a veteran reporter who covers Texas politics and state government through her web-based news company She was the Austin supervisory correspondent for the Associated Press for a decade from 2000-2010 and worked for the Dallas Morning News bureau in Austin for the 2011 Texas legislative session. Kelley can be found on Twitter @kelleyshan.

John Daley (UT) is a reporter for KSL-TV and the Deseret News in Salt Lake City. His reporting has garnered a Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in TV Political Journalism (2011) and first-place Capitol Beat Awards (2006, 2007, 2009). Daley was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University in 2007-2008.

Laura LaFay (VA) is a former newspaper reporter living in Richmond, Virginia. She has a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

Jon Margolis (VT) is a former national political correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. Margolis was previously the Albany Bureau Chief for Newsday, and has written articles for the New York Times Magazine, The New Republic and Mother Jones. Margolis is an adjunct professor of political science at the University of Vermont, and can be reached at

Vickie Kilgore (WA) is an award-winning journalist who has worked as an editor and reporter at newspapers in Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Washington. During her tenure as executive editor in Olympia, WA, she led a drive to pass legislation strengthening the state’s public records act and directed a campaign to spell out more clearly when a public body is entitled to go behind closed doors into executive session, changes in statute that are in place today.  Vickie can be reached by e-mail at

Kate Golden (WI) is a reporter and multimedia producer for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Eric Newhouse (WV) retired after more than four decades as a journalist and projects editor of the Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune in 2010. He judged the Pulitzer Prizes in 2007-08, won a Pulitzer Prize in 2000, and has authored three books: Alcohol: Cradle to Grave, Faces of Combat, and Nearly Knighted. Newhouse, is building a house in Charleston, WV near two of his three grandchildren.

Bill McCarthy (WY) is the editor of the Cowboy State Free Press, which is focused on Wyoming government and politics. Before that, he was the statehouse reporter for the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

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