CEO, editor and founder
Lorie Hearn is the chief executive officer 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.
Laura Wingard is managing editor of inewsource. She has been an editor in San Diego since 2002, working at The San Diego Union-Tribune, KPBS and now inewsource. At the Union-Tribune, she served in a variety of roles including as enterprise editor, government editor, public safety and legal affairs editor, and metro editor. She directed the newspaper’s award-winning coverage of the October 2007 wildfires and the 2010 disappearance of Poway teenager Chelsea King. She also oversaw reporting on San Diego’s pension crisis.
For two years, Wingard was news and digital editor at KPBS, overseeing a team of four multimedia reporters and two web producers. She also was the KPBS liaison with inewsource and collaborated with inewsource executive director and editor Lorie Hearn on investigative work by both news organizations.
Wingard also worked at the Las Vegas Review-Journal as the city editor and as an award-winning reporter covering the environment and politics. She also was the assistant managing editor for metro at The Press-Enterprise in Riverside. She earned her bachelor’s degree at California State University, Fullerton, with a double major in communications/journalism and political science.
Assistant editor and senior INVESTIGATIVE reporter
Brad Racino is the assistant editor and a senior investigative reporter. He has produced investigations for print, radio and TV on a variety of topics including political corruption, transportation, health, maritime, education and nonprofits.
His cross-platform reporting for inewsource has earned more than 80 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, a national Emmy nomination, the Sol Price Award for Responsible Journalism, San Diego SPJ’s First Amendment Award and the San Diego Press Club’s “Body of Work” award.
In 2017, Racino was selected by the Institute for Nonprofit News as one of 10 “Emerging Leaders” in U.S. nonprofit journalism.
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.
Investigative reporter – Education
Jennifer Bowman is an investigative reporter at inewsource focusing on education. A San Diego native, Bowman worked at daily newspapers in Michigan and North Carolina covering government and other accountability issues. At the Asheville Citizen Times, she reported on yearslong corruption in county government that included a bribery scheme involving an engineering contractor, illegally purchased life insurance policies and the misuse of tax revenue meant for a local community college. Bowman’s award-winning coverage helped lead to criminal convictions against five officials, including the county’s three highest-appointed administrators, as well as ongoing federal charges against an elected commissioner.
While at the Battle Creek Enquirer in southcentral Michigan, Bowman reported on wide-ranging financial fraud at a publicly funded mental health agency, including an unapproved pension plan and a $500,000 payment to a Florida psychic. A subsequent state audit ordered the agency to repay nearly $18 million and its CEO pleaded guilty to embezzlement and Medicaid fraud.
Bowman earned her journalism degree at San Diego State University. She previously interned at the San Diego Union-Tribune and NBC San Diego. She and her husband live in Chula Vista with their daughter and pug.
Investigative data reporter
Jill Castellano is an investigative reporter and data analyst for inewsource. Castellano graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in psychology and criminology and was editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian. She has interned at the New York Daily News, Forbes and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Castellano was a Dow Jones Data Fellow in 2016 — its first class of data journalists. She was trained by data experts at the headquarters of Investigative Reporters and Editors in Columbia, Missouri, and spent the summer working as a data reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune.
In September 2016, Castellano joined The Desert Sun in Palm Springs as an investigations editor. She mentored reporters in the USA TODAY Network on data analysis and public records, and she collaborated with other newsrooms on data-driven enterprise stories. She was part of a team from the USA TODAY Network that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting for a project on the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Investigative Reporter – Social Impact and Government Accountability
Cody Dulaney is an investigative reporter focusing on social impact stories. Before joining inewsource, Dulaney worked on investigative teams with newspapers in Florida and South Carolina. At the State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., he exposed a problem of South Carolinians selling family members into the sex trade. His five-part investigative series explored human trafficking in South Carolina — from family living rooms to illicit massage parlors, and everywhere in between. As a result, state lawmakers provided additional protections to victims, and law enforcement moved to shut down more than a dozen massage parlors along the coast.
In 2017, Dulaney won two statewide awards in Florida for his work at The News-Press investigating a local police department. He highlighted a toxic culture within the Fort Myers Police Department that disproportionately subjected black citizens to heavy-handed policing. As a result, the city tried to clean up the department and hired a consultant, who later raised allegations of officers protecting gang members and drug dealers. The FBI also investigated.
Dulaney received his bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2013 from the University of South Florida, where he also studied criminology.
in 2013 from the University of South Florida, where he also studied criminology.
REPORTIng intern – JENDY DENNIS INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM INTERNSHIP
Sofía Mejías-Pascoe is a reporting intern at inewsource. She is also the deputy news editor at UC Santa Barbara’s independent student newspaper, the Daily Nexus.
Formerly, Mejías-Pascoe was an intern on the news teams of San Diego CityBeat in 2016 and the Santa Barbara Independent in 2019. Mejías-Pascoe also co-founded her university’s local chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
Mejías-Pascoe is entering her fourth year at UCSB, where she studies communication, Spanish and journalism. She spent her third year of college living in Barcelona, where she attended a local university and developed her Spanish-speaking skills.
After graduating, she hopes to enter a graduate program for journalism. Mejías-Pascoe grew up in Ocean Beach, San Diego. She enjoys sailing, swimming, running and traveling. She expects to receive her degree from UCSB in June 2021.
Photo and Video Journalist
Zoë Meyers is a photo and video journalist at inewsource. Before joining inewsource, Meyers worked at The Desert Sun in Palm Springs as a photo and video journalist. At The Desert Sun, she produced work ranging from a video series about drag queen culture to an award-winning investigation into pollution at the U.S.-Mexico border. That series, “Poisoned Cities, Deadly Border,” investigated the causes and impacts of pollution in Mexicali. It received a national Edward R. Murrow Award, Society of Professional Journalists New America Award, and an Emmy Award.
In 2017, Meyers also collaborated with a group of students from USC’s Annenberg School for Journalism to produce a virtual reality series on the unfolding environmental crisis at the Salton Sea. In addition, she has worked independently on documentary photography and video projects. In 2015, she produced the “Worth of Water” video series for High Country News and worked on the multimedia documentary “Dreams of Dust” with funding from California Humanities.
Meyers received her master of fine arts degree in photography in 2015 from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and studied history and English as an undergraduate at Pomona College.
INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER – INFRASTRUCTURE AND GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY
Mary Plummer is an investigative reporter at inewsource focusing on infrastructure and government accountability stories. Before joining inewsource, Plummer spent eight years at Southern California Public Radio/KPCC. She was the station’s lead political reporter during the 2016 and 2018 elections. She also worked as an editor, education reporter and radio producer during her time there.
Plummer won the Gloria Penner Award for best political journalism in 2019 from the San Diego Society of Professional Journalists. She also earned back to back wins for best investigative reporting from the Associated Press Television and Radio Association for 2017 and 2018.
Plummer began her career in broadcast at ABC News in London. She received a master’s degree with honors from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York City, and her undergraduate degree from Chapman University in Orange. Plummer has been featured on NPR’s Up First podcast, and her work has been published by The New York Times and KQED, among other outlets.
Roxana Popescu is a versatile journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, The San Diego Union-Tribune, Ms. Magazine, Travel+Leisure, The Paris Review Daily and Newsweek. Her articles about immigration, border enforcement, gun culture and luxury sheds have won regional and national awards. She has been a contributor to inewsource since 2010.
Roxana was born in San Diego and moved back in 2008. When not reporting, she teaches writing at the University of San Diego as an adjunct professor. She has a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a doctorate from Harvard University, where her dissertation examined the balcony as a motif in poetry, prose and painting from 1150 to 1888. She speaks French, Spanish, Italian and Romanian and enjoys using these languages in her work.
Web Producer and social media specialist
Bella Ross is a web producer and social media specialist for inewsource. She is in charge of running the website, curating the social media accounts and producing newsletters, including The Weekender.
She also interned at inewsource and produced an investigation into a bungled roofing project at San Diego State University that put students and employees in harm’s way.
Ross graduated from SDSU in May 2020 with degrees in journalism and political science. She also served as the editor in chief of the school’s student publication, The Daily Aztec, after working as the paper’s news editor. She previously worked or completed internships for The San Diego Union-Tribune, Voice of San Diego, KPBS and the CalMatters College Journalism Network.
Camille von Kaenel
INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER – Growth and development
Camille von Kaenel is an investigative reporter focused on growth and development in San Diego’s backcountry. Her position is partly funded by Report for America, a national program that supports local journalists.
Most recently, she was a Report for America reporter at the Chico Enterprise-Record, where she covered the aftermath of the Camp fire. Her reporting included an accounting of dozens of deaths that were not directly linked to the fire in the government’s official death count and an investigation into the unequal delays in rebuilding mobile home parks. Her work was featured in national and state outlets and recognized by several California Newspaper Publishers Association awards.
She previously worked at E&E News in Washington, D.C., covering transportation and climate policy and politics. She also launched a podcast for the news outlet.
Camille earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Geneva. She was born in Switzerland and grew up in the Bay Area. She speaks French and Spanish.
Omar Chavez is the development associate for inewsource. His experience with nonprofits dates back to 2015, working at Say San Diego, Just In Time For Foster Youth and now inewsource.
At Say San Diego, he started as a facilitator for a class titled “KEEP,” which worked with foster parents to reduce challenging behavior and increase positive reinforcement for children in foster care. He became a case manager at O’Farrell Middle School Family Resource Center helping students and their families access school supplies.
At Just In Time For Foster Youth, Chavez coordinated two programs: “Basic Needs” and “Bridges to Success.” Both programs provided resources to former foster youth, such as mentorship and financial assistance. While working at Just in Time for Foster Youth, Chavez had the opportunity to interview former first daughter Chelsea Clinton for JIT’s Coach Approach initiative.
Chavez earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at San Diego State University. He wrote and co-directed a play titled Peace of a Puzzle that was performed by SDSU students. When he is not reading a book on psychology, he is spending time with his son, playing music or editing videos.
Donor engagement manager
Alina Strauss is the donor engagement manager at inewsource. With a decade of experience in fundraising and a belief in the importance of an unfettered fourth estate as a safeguard of democracy, she is committed to helping inewsource grow and thrive.
Prior to inewsource, Strauss served in development for the San Diego Symphony, the Human Rights Campaign, Environment Washington in Seattle, Environment California and the Timken Museum of Art. Strauss is a proud San Diego State University alum, where she majored in education with an emphasis on mathematics. She has a passion for inewsource, the arts, education, maternal and infant health, ping pong, family and the truth.
DIrector of finance and operations
Carla Sánchez is the director of finance and operations at inewsource. She leads seamless fiscal, administrative, and human resources systems, and procedures.
As a computer scientist, Sánchez focused on web development and databases. She has now learned to apply those skills to a finance environment. She has worked in various nonprofits, and has a passion for mission-driven work.
San Diego-born, Tijuana-raised, Sánchez enjoys the binational experience that the Californias offer. When she is not glued to a computer, you can find her at a concert or trying the newest restaurant in town.