June 23, 2020

For Immediate Release


Jillian Susi

- [email protected]

States Newsroom Launches Louisiana Illuminator

Veteran, Award-Winning Reporter and Columnist Jarvis DeBerry to Lead Louisiana Illuminator

Baton Rouge, LA — Today States Newsroom, the nation’s leading network of state-based nonprofit news outlets, announced the launch of the Louisiana Illuminator. The outlet will be led by veteran, award-winning reporter and columnist Jarvis DeBerry, and is States Newsroom’s 16th newsroom and sixth in the South.  

Louisianians face critical issues as rural hospitals close, trade wars threaten farmers and public education systems struggle with budget shortfalls, yet the number of reporters covering statehouse news across the country has plummeted over the last 15 years. According to the Pew Research Center, newsrooms have lost over half of their employees since 2008 – a problem that has only been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic as 36,000 journalists and staff have been laid off or furloughed since the outbreak.

“The majority of political coverage centers on politicians, their fights with one another and their ambitions. The ​Illuminator​ promises to keep its focus on Louisianians who live with their elected officials’ decisions,” said ​Illuminator​ Editor-in-Chief Jarvis DeBerry. “Louisiana is the same news-rich environment it’s always been but there are fewer and fewer journalists to stay on top of it all. At the ​Illuminator, ​we’re​ ​doing our part to give Louisianians some of what they’ve been missing.”

DeBerry is veteran Louisiana reporter and a longtime columnist. He spent 22 years at The Times-Picayune as a reporter covering crime and courts, an editorial writer, columnist and deputy opinions editor, and later served on the editorial board and wrote columns for DeBerry was on the team of Times-Picayune journalists awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its Hurricane Katrina coverage. He has won awards from the Louisiana Bar Association, the Press Club of New Orleans, the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press and the National Association of Black Journalists.

DeBerry leads a team of award-winning and locally renowned journalists that will cover decisions made in Baton Rouge and how they affect Louisianians, particularly those who are poor or otherwise marginalized. His team will deliver in-depth investigations, news stories and commentary to help readers make sense of state policy.

“Our vision for state journalism is to make sure that no matter where you are or where you live, you have access to the most accurate and high quality reporting.” said Chris Fitzsimon, Director and Publisher of States Newsroom. “Especially in times of crisis, newspapers and journalists are needed more than ever to provide accurate information that can potentially save lives.”

Previously, Fitzsimon founded and led NC Policy Watch, North Carolina’s leading news and commentary outlet, before launching what was to become States Newsroom in 2017.

States Newsroom is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is funded exclusively by the generous contributions of readers and philanthropists. States Newsroom is committed to supporting fact-based, non-partisan news to the public at no cost and ad-free.

Other States Newsroom affiliates and partners are:

Arizona Mirror – 
Florida Phoenix – 
Georgia Recorder –
Iowa Capital Dispatch – 
Maine Beacon – 
Maryland Matters – 
Michigan Advance –
Minnesota Reformer – 
Nevada Current – 
NC Policy Watch – 
Ohio Capital Journal – 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star – 
Tennessee Lookout – 
Virginia Mercury – 
Wisconsin Examiner –