Our Journalists’ Work

Accountability journalism that corps members produce includes articles, TV and radio clips, and photojournalism. In “On the Ground Dispatches,” they reflect on their observations and reporting from the field.

News Stories

Mold, fire, roaches: Hilton Head’s public housing residents call out decades of neglect

Behind the curtain of tourism, affluent neighborhoods and beachfront resorts, tenants at Hilton Head’s only public housing complex have lived among roaches, black mold and fire hazards for years. Many tenants are now living on the edge of eviction due to COVID-19-related income losses.

Kate Hidalgo Bellows

The Island Packet

Springfield’s high rates of gun violence, domestic abuse are linked, local leaders say

In Missouri, the state with the second highest rate of men killing women, the city of Springfield is the frontrunner for rates of domestic violence. A months-long investigation by the Kansas City Star and Springfield Leader examined the intersection of guns and domestic violence in Springfield through the voices of survivors and experts.

Kaitlin Washburn

Kansas City Star

Minnesota schools say they want to fill classrooms with talented teachers of color. Then they lay them off.

Qorsho Hassan, Minnesota’s 2020 Teacher of the Year, found herself without a job when schools abruptly transitioned to distance learning. Even as a “game-changing educator” and one of the only Black teachers in a school where half the students are Black, Hassan was vulnerable to seniority-based layoffs that caused recently hired teachers to be first to lose their jobs.

Becky Dernbach

Sahan Journal

Not a luxury: Pandemic highlights digital divide in rural areas

A massive shift online amid the pandemic has exasperated the pre-existing digital divide in small towns, where high speed internet is a precious commodity. Services prove too costly for some, while the FCC’s mapping standards are a roadblock.

Jacob Douglas


Questionable bills surround lobbying effort

A Louisiana law firm charged Utah’s poorest county $500,000, including questionable fees, to lobby against the expansion of Bears Ears National Monument, corps member Zak Podmore reported after demanding public records. 

Zak Podmore
Salt Lake Tribune

The high cost of poor defense 

Corps member Samantha Hogan revealed potential over-billing by lawyers defending Maine’s poor—including continual 80-hour weeks for some. Her investigation sparked multiple state investigations. 

Samantha Hogan
Maine Monitor

Judge Dawn Gentry faces misconduct charges. Here’s what happened and what happens next.

RFA corps member Julia Fair gained widespread attention for her story on a county judge facing nine charges from state investigators related to favoritism, sexual advances and consuming alcohol in the courthouse. Her watchdog reporting inspired two anonymous donors to contribute $5,000 each.

Julia Fair

The Cincinnati Enquirer

For poor Californians, bad teeth lead to discrimination

Low-income residents have few options for quality dental care, RFA corps member Manuela Tobias reported. Bad teeth mean bad jobs, which propels a cycle of poverty.

Manuela Tobias
Fresno Bee

Utah women agree: Business and government leaders should work on the gender wage gap

After having one of the worst gender wage gaps in the country for several years, Utah women have a message for their government and business leaders: Take action.

Becky Jacobs
Salt Lake Tribune


Who watches the polls? Local officials dismiss concerns of domestic extremism

A spark in Minneapolis: From grief to activism

On the Ground Essays​