inewsource is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization with one explicit goal: to provide readers with the most authoritative and in-depth stories possible on issues that affect the future of everyday San Diegans. Whether we’re writing about local government, transportation, education, health, taxes or the environment, our small but versatile team of reporters works together to deliver these stories with precision through web, radio and TV.

As a result, inewsource has been awarded some of the most prestigious accolades not just in Southern California but across the country since its formation in 2009.

inewsource is based inside the KPBS newsroom, though we do not receive funding from its donor base and are not paid for the content we share with the NPR and PBS affiliate station. Reporters and editors at inewsource frequently teach, train and mentor at SDSU’s School of Journalism and Media Studies, underscoring our commitment to the next generation of journalists.

For support, we rely on foundation grants, philanthropy and individual donations from readers like you. Click here to see our editorial policy and here to see our refund, cancellation and privacy policy.

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Our staff

Lorie Hearn is the executive director and editor of inewsource.

She founded inewsource in the summer of 2009, following a successful reporting and editing career in newspapers. She retired from The San Diego Union-Tribune, where she had been a reporter, Metro Editor and finally the senior editor for Metro and Watchdog Journalism. In addition to department oversight, Hearn personally managed a four-person watchdog team, composed of two data specialists and two investigative reporters.

Hearn was a Nieman Foundation fellow at Harvard University in 1994-95. She focused on juvenile justice and drug control policy, a natural course to follow her years as a courts and legal affairs reporter at the San Diego Union and then the Union-Tribune.

Hearn became Metro Editor in 1999 and oversaw regional and city news coverage, which included the city of San Diego’s financial debacle and near bankruptcy. Reporters and editors on Metro during her tenure were part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning stories that exposed Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham and led to his imprisonment.

Hearn began her journalism career as a reporter for the Bucks County Courier Times, a small daily outside of Philadelphia, shortly after graduating from the University of Delaware. During the decades following, she moved through countless beats at five newspapers on both coasts.

High-profile coverage included the historic state Supreme Court election in 1986, when three sitting justices were ousted from the bench, and the 1992 execution of Robert Alton Harris. That gas chamber execution was the first time the death penalty was carried out in California in 25 years.

In her nine years as Metro Editor at the Union-Tribune, Hearn made watchdog reporting a priority. Her reporters produced award-winning investigations covering large and small local governments. The depth and breadth of their public service work was most evident in coverage of the wildfires of 2003 and then 2007, when more than half a million people were evacuated from their homes.

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Brad RacinoBrad Racino is a senior reporter, assistant director and director of partnerships & innovation at inewsource, as well as a photographer, videographer and editor. He has produced work for print, radio and TV on a variety of topics including political corruption, transportation, health, trade, surveillance and maritime.

His cross-platform reporting for inewsource has earned more than 40 awards since 2012, including back-to-back national medals from Investigative Reporters and Editors, two national Edward R. Murrow awards, a Meyer "Mike" Berger award from New York City's Columbia Journalism School and a national Emmy nomination.

Racino has worked as a reporter and database analyst for News21; as a photographer, videographer and reporter for the Columbia Missourian; as a project coordinator for the National Freedom of Information Coalition and as a videographer and editor for Verizon Fios1 TV in New York.

He received his master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in 2012.

Head here to read his stories.
Contact him at or (845) 553-4170.

Brandon QuesterBrandon Quester is inewsource's director of data and visuals, where he works to further the role of data in the organization and develop innovative ways to present investigative content. He also works toward building and expanding partnerships with individuals, businesses and organizations.

Quester co-founded the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting where he served as executive director and editor for four years. AZCIR’s reporting, which publishes online, in print and on television and radio, uncovered questionable practices by the state’s largest public utility, shed light on “dark money” expenditures for Arizona’s political candidates, exposed the dangers posed by hazardous material storage facilities throughout the state, and detailed the human and economic toll of the worst environmental disaster in Mexico’s history.

In addition, the center has developed and implemented innovative technologies into its reporting. These range from a web application that crowdfunds background checks on Arizona political candidates to a fully automated Twitter bot that distributes, in near real time, each “dark money” expenditure by groups trying to affect Arizona elections.

Quester also worked as an educator at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and as the multimedia editor for the Carnegie-Knight News21 program, a national investigative reporting project headquartered at the Cronkite School.

Contact him at or (602) 750-3736.

Joe YerardiJoe Yerardi is a freelance data journalist for inewsource, where he worked between 2013 and 2016 as an investigative reporter and data specialist combining traditional reporting techniques with data analysis to produce investigative stories.

Prior to joining inewsource, Yerardi was the data editor at the San Antonio Express-News. While in San Antonio, he wrote data-driven stories of local and regional interest, assisted reporters in utilizing data in daily and enterprise coverage and produced data visualizations for the newspaper's print and online products.

Joe holds bachelor's degrees from New York University and a master's degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Read all his stories here.
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Visit his website here.

Leonardo Castañeda is a reporter and economic analyst for inewsource, as well as a social media manager and webmaster.

Castaneda graduated with degrees in journalism and economics from San Diego State University. While there he served as the editor in chief of the student-run newspaper, The Daily Aztec. He has written about issues including school finance, diversity in San Diego communities and water quality for inewsource.

Originally from Mexico City, Castaneda moved with his family to Chula Vista, Calif. in 2002. He is bilingual and biliterate in Spanish. He has written for The Daily Aztec’s Spanish section, Mundo Azteca.

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Ingrid Lobet has covered the environment, energy and climate for 14 years and been recognized with several national awards, including IRE, Edward R. Murrow, Scripps Howard and the Polk (team).

Recently she’s been on the investigative team at the Houston Chronicle and produced stories for Marketplace and the Center for Investigative Reporting. When screen time overwhelms she reverts to carpentry, her first trade.

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Cheryl Clark became an expert in the massive changes that would come from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to prevent medical harm and overutilization of the healthcare system during her six plus years as senior quality editor with Boston-based HealthLeaders Media.

She has won numerous awards, including the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation's $10,000 prize in 2015 for her magazine article on faster recognition and treatment of deadly sepsis. Her weekly column had 40,000 subscribers.

Clark was one of 30 participants of a roundtable that led to a 2015 report, "Shining a Light. Safer Health Care Through Transparency" produced by the National Patient Safety Foundation's Lucian Leape Institute.

She resigned from HealthLeaders in May, 2015 to spend time developing underreported stories, writing for MedPage Today and other publications.

In October, Clark was among 12 journalists selected for the first Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute's comparative effectiveness fellowship in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Association of Health Care Journalists.

For 27.5 years, she covered medicine and science for The San Diego Union-Tribune. In the mid 1980s, she established one of the nation's first specialty beats on HIV and AIDS for a major newspaper. She also covered energy and environment for The Sacramento Bee and was a Nieman Foundation fellowship finalist. Clark also worked for The San Francisco Chronicle and co-owned and edited a weekly newspaper in Columbia, MD.

Head here to read her stories.
Contact her at

Megan Wood is a reporter and photographer at inewsource.

Wood joined inewsource as a photo and video intern in 2015 while completing her bachelors degree in journalism at San Diego State University. While there she was the photo editor of the student-run newspaper, The Daily Aztec, and the president of the SDSU Society of Professional Journalists.

Now, Wood focuses on accountability and reports on a variety of local topics and provides visuals for other inewsource reporters.

Head here to read her stories.
Contact her at or (619) 948-6777.

Our Board of Directors

inewsource’s board is composed of community leaders as well as nationally recognized journalists with extensive experience in managing nonprofit journalism organizations and in studying new models for sustaining investigative work into the future.

Karin Winner, president of the inewsource board of directors, was editor and VP/News of the San Diego Union-Tribune for 15 years and retired in 2010.

Winner is active in the community, sitting on several nonprofit boards. Most importantly, she is president of inewsource, and serves on the KPBS Advisory Council, the San Diego State Campanile Foundation board, The Old Globe Theater, and the UCSD Chancellor’s Community Advisory Council.

Under Winner’s leadership, the Union-Tribune received a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for exposing the worst Congressional bribery scandal in history. San Diego Rep. Randy Cunningham was given a nine-year sentence in an Arizona penitentiary. In 2008, the newspaper earned another Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. Winner was a member of the Pulitzer Prize Jury six times and was president of the California Society of Newspaper Editors.

Winner has a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Brant Houston is a professor and the Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois and also is a member of the faculty of the Graduate School of Library Information and Sciences. At Illinois, he also oversees an award-winning online news site,

From 1997 to 2007, Houston was executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors, a 5,000 member association, and taught at the Missouri School of Journalism. Before that, Houston was an award-winning investigative reporter for 17 years and was a member of the newsroom staff at The Kansas City Star that won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of a hotel building collapse and a member of the investigative team that won a Headliners Award for exposing shoddy building inspection practices in the Kansas City area.

He is co-author of “The Investigative Reporter’s Handbook” (Fourth and Fifth Edition) and author of four editions of “Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide.” Houston also is a co-founder and chair of the board of directors of the Global Investigative Journalism Network, a consortium of more than 100 nonprofit newsrooms around the world, and he is a co-founder and chair of the board of directors of the Institute for Nonprofit News, a consortium of 110 nonprofit newsrooms in North America.

Guylyn CumminsGuylyn Cummins is a partner in the Entertainment, Media and Technology practice group in Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton’s San Diego office.

Ms. Cummins has spent her entire career working in media law. A seasoned litigator, she represents a broad array of media and entertainment clients relating to First Amendment and other issues, including access, libel and advertising content, plus trademark and copyright fair use. She has been named one of the top women litigators by the Daily Journal, selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, and recognized as one of the leading lawyers in the U.S. in The Legal 500 U.S. (Vol 11 Intellectual Property, Technology, Media & Telecom), as well as recognized by Chambers USA as one of America’s Leading Business Lawyers in Media and Entertainment.

Cummins is a nationally known and respected First Amendment lawyer and Certified Appellate Specialist.

Martha Dennis, secretary of the inewsource board, is Principal at Gordian Knot, an advisory firm to emerging technology businesses in San Diego. Formerly she was a Venture Partner with Windward Ventures that invested in early-stage Southern California technology companies.

Previously Dennis was Co-founder and President and CEO of WaveWare Communications, Inc., which sold software for wireless handheld connectivity. Prior to that Dennis co-founded Pacific Communications Sciences, Inc., a San Diego wireless communications equipment company that was acquired by Cirrus Logic. Earlier Dennis led software development at Linkabit Corp. as Assistant Vice President. She currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Netsapiens, Inc., as Lead Director of Space Micro, Inc. and as a Director of Mundoval (NASDAQ: MUNDX).

Dennis is past Chair of the City of San Diego Science & Technology Commission, and Past President of San Diego’s telecom industry association. She has led several not-for-profit boards including La Jolla Music Society, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the Bishop’s School, and Athena. She has also been a trustee of the San Diego Museum of Art, Harvey Mudd College, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego Foundation, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, the San Diego Museum of Art and the YMCA of San Diego County.

Dennis holds a doctorate from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from Smith College.

Joyce M. Gattas is Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts at SDSU where she leads ten schools and departments with several centers and research institutes ranging from the visual and performing arts to communication, hospitality management and ROTC programs with more than 5,000 majors and nearly 400 faculty and staff.

Well known in the San Diego civic and philanthropic community, she is dedicated to connecting the college to the community through her direct involvement. Dr. Gattas currently serves on the Boards of Balboa Park Conservancy; San Diego Museum of Art; San Diego Public Library Foundation; Inewsource; and, e3 Civic High.

Her many honors include “50 People to Watch”, “10 Cool Women”, Who’s Who in San Diego, Women Who Mean Business, the “Ginger Award” for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts, a Women of Dedication Honoree, and many more.

Dr. Gattas has a Ph.D. from University of California at Berkeley, and is a graduate of the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University. Prior to her role as Dean, she served as the Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs at SDSU, and taught at California State Universities at Long Beach and at Hayward.

barbara leeBarbara Lee is an expert in qualitative and quantitative social research. Most recently,she has served as a consultant to non-profit organizations, conducting research studies and offering insight into strategy development for clients such as the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, the San Diego City Schools, Children’s Television Workshop, the American Heart Association, and the Adult Literacy Media Alliance.

Formerly the Director of Social Research at CBS Corporation, she has published articles on media, as well as authoring a book advising parents on using the media to develop children’s literacy.

Barbara earned a BA from Hunter College and an M.A. in sociology from the University of Chicago. She held executive positions at the Newspaper Advertising Bureau, and other research organizations. She also served on the Executive Council of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, on a Federal Communications Commission advisory board, and as a peer reviewer for the National Institute of Mental Health. She is currently on the Advisory Board for the Social Sciences at UCSD.

Stacy Kellner Rosenberg Stacy Kellner Rosenberg, treasurer of the board, relocated to San Diego with her husband Don six years ago from the New York City area. In addition to her work with inewsource, she serves on the board of directors of the San Diego Opera Company where she chairs the Strategic Planning committee and on the board of Congregation Beth El where she is a member of the Strategic Planning and Personnel committees. She has also provided strategic planning services to The Scripps Research Institute and belongs to the Arts and Science committee at the La Jolla Playhouse.

In New York, Stacy was the Executive Director of Friends of Karen, a regional not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing financial, emotional and advocacy support to families with critically ill children.

Before assuming the leadership of Friends of Karen, Stacy was an attorney in New York where her practice focused on complex civil litigation. Her legal career began as a law clerk to the Honorable Gerard L. Goettel, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York.

An honors graduate of the Harvard Law School, she also holds an M.B.A. from State University of New York at Binghamton. Stacy has been a contributing author to several legal publications, including the well-respected treatise Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts, 2nd edition, edited by Robert L. Haig, Esq.

The Encyclopedia of Journalism cited Charles Lewis as “one of the 30 most notable investigative reporters in the U.S. since World War I.” Lewis is the founding executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop and a professor of journalism at the American University School of Communication in Washington.

A national investigative journalist for over 30 years, Lewis is a bestselling author who founded the Center for Public Integrity and its International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in Washington. He left a successful career as an investigative producer for ABC News and the CBS News program 60 Minutes and began the Center for Public Integrity from his home, growing it to a full-time staff of 40 people. Under his leadership, the Center published roughly 300 investigative reports, including 14 books, from 1989 through 2004, and was honored more than 30 times by national journalism organizations.

Lewis was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1998. And in 2004, PEN USA, the respected literary organization, gave its First Amendment award to Lewis, “for expanding the reach of investigative journalism... and for boldly exercising his freedom of speech and freedom of the press.”

Mary Walshok, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs and Dean of Extension at the University of California San Diego, the author of more than 100 articles and reports on the innovation economy and aligning workforce development with regional economic growth. She has authored and co-authored Blue Collar Women (1981), Knowledge Without Boundaries (1995), Closing America’s Job Gap (2011), Creating Competitiveness: Entrepreneurship and Innovation Policies for Growth (2013), Invention and Reinvention: The Evolution of San Diego’s Innovation Economy (2013), Public Universities and Regional Growth: Insights from the University of California (2014) and the Oxford Handbook of Local Competitiveness (2015). Her particular focus is how globalization and rapid changes in technology are affecting the social dynamics and economic challenges of regions across America.

A co-founder in 1984 of the internationally recognized CONNECT program, Walshok has been an integral player in the evolution of San Diego’s innovation economy for more than 30 years.

Nita van der Werff is a practicing artist and conservationist. She has been a studio ceramic artist, landscape designer and photographer. As a Master Gardener, she believes in the importance of organic farming/gardening and sustainability. She grows food for others and mentors young people in the life of the land.

A recent trustee of The Nature Conservancy of New Mexico, Nita now works with the conservation group, Amigos Bravos, to protect and restore the waters of New Mexico. She is also an honorary trustee of the San Diego Natural History Museum and is active in several arts organizations in Taos.

She grew up in San Diego and received a BA in Political Science and Art History from San Diego State University. Her home has been the Galapagos, Holland, Australia, Washington DC, and St. Louis. She now lives in Taos, New Mexico.

Passionate about expanding literacy and strengthening public schools, Mel Katz is committed to civic improvement and community enrichment.

As executive officer of Manpower – San Diego, a global staffing firm, Katz brings a dedication to community engagement and business savvy to the board. Katz has been chair of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Convention Center Corporation, Workforce Partnership, the Public Library Commission and the Library Foundation.

Katz co-led the successful campaign to raise funds for the newly established Central Library in downtown San Diego and chairs the board of directors for e3 Civic High, the new charter high school in the library.

Bernard A. Kulchin has had a distinguished career in Human Resources Management both in industry and as a consultant.

For more than a decade, he was responsible for all human resources functions for Cubic Corp. and its 7,000 employees. Prior to Cubic, Kulchin was with General Dynamics Corp. for more than 30 years. There, he was division vice president of Human Resources.

He has been an instructor and leader in human resources management and leadership development topics. Kulchin has taught Human Resources Management at UCSD and National University. He also has been an expert witness in employment law cases.

In the non-profit sector, Kulchin serves on the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Library Foundation and is a member of the boards of San Diego Habitat for Humanity and the San Diego Youth Symphony. He had served as chair for Non Profit Management Solutions and was a member of the Advisory Board for Elder Help and the Jenna Druck Foundation.

Stephanie Bergsma is the former associate general manager at KPBS, where she was instrumental in developing the partnership that began nearly four years ago between inewsource and KPBS to foster in-depth investigative journalism in San Diego.

During her 26 years at KPBS, Stephanie was responsible for, among other things, major gifts and underwriting for local production. Stephanie was also instrumental in raising funds for the KPBS Copley Telecommunications Center which is now home to inewsource.

In addition to her work in public broadcasting, Stephanie has been involved in a broad range of San Diego institutions such as the Museum of Photographic Arts, Francis Parker School and Voices for Children.

0b832bc4-a4d2-49d4-b09f-d127b3c0106cAmy Ginnow is a retired lawyer who believes in factual and unbiased reporting.

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