States Newsroom Launches West Virginia Watch
Leann Ray to lead States Newsroom’s Mountain State Outlet
Charleston, W.V. – States Newsroom, the nation’s leading network of state-based nonprofit news outlets, today launched West Virginia Watch to provide free, high-quality, non-partisan reporting on the important issues affecting the Mountain State. With the launch of West Virginia Watch, States Newsroom’s network now includes 35 newsrooms and content-sharing agreements with eight independent news sites.
Additional members of WV Watch’s newsroom include:
- Amelia Ferrell Knisely, Reporter: Knisely is an investigative reporter in West Virginia. Originally from Rand, she started her career in television news in her home state before moving to Nashville and reporting for The Tennessean. She returned to West Virginia in 2019 through Report for America to write about poverty for the Charleston Gazette-Mail, where she documented the state’s 10,000 homeless students and growing child hunger problem. She went on to work at Mountain State Spotlight and West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Knisely’s work, which regularly focuses on child welfare, people with disabilities and social services, has won national awards.
- Lori Kersey, Reporter: Kersey is a reporter and editor based in Charleston. She has a decade of experience reporting for the Charleston Gazette-Mail. A native of Sissonville, her reporting roots go back to the newspaper’s teen journalism program, FlipSide. Kersey earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism at Marshall University and her master’s degree in communication at Morehead State University. Prior to joining the Gazette-Mail in 2011, she worked at the Ironton Tribune in Ohio and the Georgetown News-Graphic in Kentucky. At the paper over the years, she covered city and county government, as well as health, business, courts and crime and worked as assistant city editor and weekend editor.
- Caity Coyne, Reporter: Coyne is a reporter based in Charleston. Raised in San Diego, she moved to West Virginia 10 years ago and began reporting in college at West Virginia University. In 2018 she accepted a job at the Charleston Gazette-Mail as one of three inaugural reporters with the national nonprofit Report For America. Her persistent reporting in the state’s Southern Coalfields helped communities access clean drinking water for the first time in decades and garnered multiple national and state journalism awards, including being named as a finalist for the Livingston Award for National Reporting in 2019.