Mountain State Spotlight has joined the Ohio Valley ReSource (OVR), a regional journalism collaborative reporting on economic and social change in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. The collaborative includes Louisville Public Media, WKYU, WKMS, WEKU and WMMT Appalshop in Kentucky; and WOUB in Ohio.

Mountain State Spotlight is an independent, civic news organization in West Virginia, established and co-founded in 2020 by MacArthur Fellow Ken Ward Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Eric Eyre, and longtime editor Greg Moore. Ellen Allen was recently named Mountain State Spotlight’s Executive Director to lead their growing business operation; she will serve on the ReSource Governing Board.

Brian Ferguson/Mountain State Spotlight.

Mountain State Spotlight reporter Amelia Ferrell Knisely interviews the Kanawha County child nutrition director in summer 2020, for a story on how the county was feeding hungry kids amid the pandemic.

As part of the new collaboration, Mountain State Spotlight will be adding another reporter to focus on covering environmental issues, energy and worker safety and health — all core issues of focus for the ReSource since its inception. 

“This is a great match and Mountain State Spotlight is so pleased to be joining such an important collaborative for our region,” co-founder Ken Ward Jr. said. “There’s a growing need for accountability reporting on these issues in West Virginia and around our region, especially at this moment of historic change in the local economy and energy industries.”

The collaboration marks the first ReSource partner outside of public media. The ReSource reporting team of eight journalists tells the stories behind the region’s economy, energy, environment, food, health, justice system and infrastructure.

Will Price/WV Legislature.

Mountain State Spotlight reporter Quenton King watches a committee meeting during the 2022 session of the West Virginia Legislature

“In today’s fragmented media world, where regions like ours are dramatically underserved by commercial media, it’s critical that we collaborate rather than compete,” said Louisville Public Media President Stephen George. “I’m proud of the strong foundation we’ve built at OVR over the last five years, and I’m thrilled to work with Mountain State Spotlight as we build our collaborative’s future.” 

The Ohio Valley ReSource announced the promotion of Ryland Barton to lead the Ohio Valley Resource as Managing Editor of Collaboratives last month. Mountain State Spotlight is actively recruiting to fill the new reporter position

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives.