Harshawn Ratanpal

Before joining KBIA and the Missouri School of Journalism, Ratanpal covered money in politics at OpenSecrets, tracking campaign finance and lobbying data. At the Missouri School of Journalism, he covered local government, homelessness and the state legislature for mid-Missouri’s NPR member station KBIA and the Columbia Missourian. He was also the news director of KCOU, the campus student-run radio station. He holds a bachelor’s in journalism and a Bachelor of Science in economics. His first real-world gig was interning for his hometown newspaper, The San Diego Union-Tribune. He started his career in the 7th grade, writing for his school paper, the PawPrints. In his free time, Ratanpal makes music, lifts weights and climbs rocks.

Julie Freijat

Prior to joining Report for America, Freijat served as a data reporter for Kansas City PBS through the Dow Jones News Fund, where she produced data-driven articles about local and state issues. She also held two internships at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where she gained valuable experience in science communication working across platforms. Freijat was also heavily involved in her campus newspaper at Kansas State University, where she served in multiple leadership roles and won awards for her design and writing at the state and national levels. While at Mizzou, Freijat worked as a research assistant for Investigative Reporters and Editors and served as a student staffer at the Reynold’s Journalism Institute Innovation Lab. Freijat received her master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2024, and graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in biology in 2022.

Kansas City PBS/Flatland

Kansas City PBS has a long tradition of public service that has laid the foundation for expanding its news gathering relationship with our community. Our content platforms — television, radio, digital, social media and educational outreach — exist to serve the diversity of our region. We explore complicated issues with thoughtful reporting. We share the diverse stories of people, places, and progress in our community. We advance conversations through community engagement and social media. Specifically, Kansas City PBS operates four KCPT-related public television channels; KTBG 90.9 The Bridge, an NPR-affiliated AAA music station; and FlatlandKC, an online digital magazine; in addition to social media and community events.

KBIA and the Missouri School of Journalism

KBIA News is an award-winning, innovative newsroom located in the university town of Columbia, on the campus of the Missouri School of Journalism. Reporters at KBIA News cover this dynamic Mid-Missouri community, coach and edit journalism students, and file reports and features to NPR and other national programs. KBIA News enjoys close collaborations with Harvest Public Media, Side Effects Public Media, and with innovative campus organizations such as the Reynolds Journalism Institute.


KMOV in St. Louis is the most watched station in all of Missouri and Southern Illinois. KMOV is one of the top CBS affiliates in the country, a leader in Market #23, and known for its award winning news and weather coverage, numerous community service projects, and effective broadcast and digital marketing solutions. KMOV is the 2023 National Edward R Murrow Award Winner for Best Newscast and Regional Winner for Overall Excellence.

Ashley Winters

Ashley Winters is reporting for the St. Louis American, covering news impacting African Americans in the St. Louis metro area which includes education, business and entertainment. Winters is from St. Louis, Missouri and attended Columbia College Chicago, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism with a concentration in Magazine Article Writing. After graduation, her roots called her back home to be the watchdog for Black and Brown communities impacted by racial and social/ economic disparities in the St. Louis region. Winters has worked for local media outlets including the Nine Network of Public Media, St. Louis Public Radio, St. Louis Magazine, the St. Louis American Newspaper, and Northsider Newspaper. She is a two-time award recipient of the Excellence in Poverty Journalism Award. In 2019 she published her first children's book, called Memories Of A Bunny Rabbit, and received a Mission Attempt award. She has volunteered for the St. Louis City School District teaching fourth- through sixth-graders journalism, showing the importance of Black voices, and telling stories about our communities. Winters' latest project is gardening; she plans to donate fresh produce to poor Black and brown communities to help fight food apartheid in the St.  Louis region.

Clara Bates

Clara Bates reports on gaps in the social safety net for the Missouri Independent, a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to investigative journalism. A recent graduate of Harvard University with a concentration in social studies, she also studied Russian and spent a summer in Moscow. Bates has written for Fifteen Minutes—the weekly magazine of The Harvard Crimson student paper— about a controversial congressional orientation and an early 20th-century class war among students. As an intern for Nevada Current, she wrote about laid-off convention workers and unregulated funeral homes, and while reporting on an anti-union hiring fair, Bates was ejected from a casino.

Eva Tesfaye

Eva Tesfaye covers air and water quality from Kansas City, Missouri for Harvest Public Media, a collaborative network of reporters and stations in the Midwest. She is part of the Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk, a reporting network across the Basin. Prior to this, Tesfaye was a producer at NPR’s daily science podcast “Short Wave.” As an NPR Kroc fellow, she produced for “Weekend Edition,” reported for NPR’s national desk, helped start a podcast about the federal executions carried out under the Trump administration for NPR member station WFIU, and reported from Birmingham, Alabama for the regional collaboration, the Gulf States Newsroom. Tesfaye joined NPR after graduating from Columbia University with a bachelor’s in English and a minor in French and Francophone studies.

The Kansas City Beacon

The Kansas City Beacon is a non-profit online news outlet focused on in-depth journalism in the public interest. It launched in March 2020 and is part of The Beacon, a regional nonprofit news network serving Kansas and Missouri. Beacon stories are revelatory, contextual, data-driven and solutions-driven. Our reporting centers around issues in healthcare, education, economics, environment and civic engagement.

Harvest Public Media

KCUR is the flagship NPR station in Kansas City, Missouri, connecting people to ideas and to each other through news reporting, thoughtful conversations and arts and culture. The station is operated as an editorially independent community service of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, broadcasting 24 hours a day and online. KCUR also leads three public media collaborations: Harvest Public Media, the Kansas News Service and NPR's Midwest Newsroom, a four-state regional news hub.