Work Better Track: Real talk on investigative collaborations in small and medium markets

  • Event: 2019 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Laura Frank of Rocky Mountain Investigative News Network; Ryan Nave of Mississippi Today; C.J. LeMaster of WLBT-Jackson, MS
  • Date/Time: Friday, Jun. 14 at 9:00am
  • Location: Texas G
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

A case study in partnerships in a place you might not expect: Ridgeland, Mississippi. What happens when a TV reporter and a data reporter from different newsrooms tackle the same story together?

Speaker Bios

  • Laura Frank is VP of Journalism at Rocky Mountain PBS, where she leads a duPont-winning investigative team. She founded I-News, the investigative news nonprofit that merged with Rocky Mountain Public Media in 2013, the first such merger in the nation. She was a founding member of the Institute for Nonprofit News ( and now serves as its board chair.

  • C.J. LeMaster is the chief investigative reporter for WLBT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi. His stories focus on corruption, transparency & government waste. Most recently, his reporting uncovered false crime statistics from the police department in the state's largest city, which led to a complete overhaul of those reporting practices. In 2018, he teamed up with nonprofit news organization Mississippi Today to collaborate on longform investigative pieces. 

  • Ryan "R.L." Nave is Mississippi Today's editor-in-chief. Before helping launch the nonprofit newsroom in 2016, he was a reporter and editor at the Jackson Free Press and, before that, Illinois Times. A native of St. Louis, Mo., he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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