The Center welcomes Matt Drange, a recent graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, to our newsroom for the summer.
Matt earned his master’s degree in journalism with a specialization in investigative reporting. As a fellow at Columbia’s Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, Matt reported on numerous deficiencies in the home healthcare industry in New York, culminating in a 5,000-word thesis project.
At the same time, Matt spearheaded efforts for a class investigation into the safety of third party audits in the food industry. In the wake of last year’s deadly listeria outbreak, the story revealed conflicts of interest and lax oversight of a growing private auditing industry.
Prior to attending Columbia, Matt reported on statehouse politics in Sacramento for California Watch, writing stories about the budget and historic redistricting efforts. He spent a year on the crime and courts beat for the Eureka Times-Standard, and wrote extensively about a class action lawsuit filed against a national nursing home chain, found by a jury to have chronically understaffed dozens of facilities around the state.
Matt graduated from Humboldt State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an emphasis in political economics. As a student, Matt directed a class investigation into search warrants issued in Humboldt County, later published in the North Coast Journal.
He received a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting, as well as the Press Freedom Award from the Journalism Department at Humboldt State.
A native of California, Matt’s work has appeared in the New York World, the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and the Oakland Tribune, among others.
When he isn’t working on his next story, Matt enjoys cycling and reading nonfiction books and magazine pieces. He is also learning how to fish.
Former interns making marks
We’re delighted that three of our former interns are working as journalists in various parts of the country.
Mary Helen Miller, who toiled for months on our series about Maine’s antiquated bail system, got admitted last fall to the first Transom Story Workshop in radio production, run by veteran public radio producers Jay Allison and Maine’s very own Rob Rosenthal.
That training, and Mary Helen’s already strong reporting skills, led to a job as a reporter-producer at Chattanooga’s WUTC-FM, an NPR affiliate featuring news, music and public affairs programming.
Check out Mary Helen’s 11-plus minute report on the aftermath of a killer tornado that hit the Chattanooga region in 2011. It is a moving and beautifully produced story about the human effects of a natural disaster.
Emily Guerin, who partnered with Mary Helen on the Center’s bail system story and also contributed to the Center’s campaign coverage in 2010, has departed Maine for the Rockies.
After a year and a half of working the local news scene as a reporter for The Forecaster, which involved lots of early morning trips to the police office and late night marathons at the town council chambers, Emily tells us that she left Maine in April to pursue her “outdoorsy side.”
She spent a month backpacking and rock climbing in the Southwest on a National Outdoor Leadership School instructor course. Now she’s headed to work as an intern at High Country News, an environmental newsmagazine that covers the West.
Nathaniel Herz graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in May with a degree in print journalism and investigative reporting. Nat was a student in the school’s Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. He had the dubious distinction of being the only student in his Columbia class to be mugged while reporting on his beat.
Nat’s master’s thesis — an examination of tax rollbacks that coincided with campaign contributions to a key decision-maker and New York mayoral candidate — was published on graduation day by the New York Daily News and the New York World, and was cited by several influential political reporters and blogs.
He’s now two weeks into a summer internship at Newsday on Long Island, where so far they’ve sent him to cover college baseball, homicide, boat crashes, weather, and a medical training session on cadavers. He’ll begin a ten-month fellowship as a government and politics reporter for the New York World in late August.