Ian Karbal reports on state politics for Mountain State Spotlight, an investigative and enterprise news site based in Charleston, West Virginia. Before joining the Spotlight, Karbal was a Delacorte Magazine fellow at the Columbia Journalism Review, covering mis/disinformation and the media industry. He holds a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he specialized in investigative reporting in the Toni Stabile Center program. His work has also appeared in The Trace, OpenSecrets, and the Gateway Journalism Review. Karbal, from Chicago, began his career reporting on local government for the Pinckneyville Press in Illinois. His investigative work uncovering biased and for-profit policing practices earned him a Freedom of Information Award from the National Newspaper Association, and made him a finalist for the 2018 Chicago Headline Club's Peter Lisagor Awards.
This new investigative and enterprise hub was launched in 2020 and is led by longtime West Virginia journalists Greg Moore, a former editor at the Charleston Gazette-Mail, and Ken Ward Jr., a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” grant winner for his longtime work covering coal mining and other polluting industries. The staff includes four current RFA Corps members.
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