January 13, 2010

MarylandReporter.com begins its first legislative session with four State House reporters

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MarylandReporter.com announced Wednesday that it has brought on two additional reporters to help cover the 2010 legislative session, bringing the nonprofit news site’s State House team to four members in its first full year of operation.

The new additions will give the organization one of the largest reporting contingents in Annapolis. MarylandReporter.com, based in Columbia and Annapolis, was launched in October by Editor and Publisher Len Lazarick and Associate Editor Andy Rosen, and now adds staff writers Natalie Neumann and Erich Wagner.

The site produces several pieces of original staff reporting every weekday, in the form of text, audio and video. The organization makes its content available for reuse or reprint, free of charge to news organizations, Web sites and the general public. For information about how to use the site’s content, editors should visit MarylandReporter.com or contact the staff.

Wagner will graduate this month from the University of Maryland College Park with at degree in Journalism. He is an experienced State House reporter, having covered the 2009 General Assembly session for the university’s Capital News Service. Wagner grew up in Carroll County and has written for The Diamondback, and interned at the Baltimore Sun and the City Paper.

Neumann joins the organization from WAMU American University Public Radio. She graduated last year with a degree in journalism and political science from the University of Montana. She has reported for public radio stations in Montana and Florida and worked for the Legislative News Service in Montana, feeding coverage of the state capitol to radio stations around the state.

Neumann and Wagner’s positions are being funded by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, which is also supporting six other post-graduate journalists reporting on state capitol news in Illinois, California, Nevada and Wyoming. The Franklin Center has assisted with the start-up of MarylandReporter.com.

Since November, MarylandReporter.com has been providing a daily e-mail newsletter to over 3,000 recipients. It includes Maryland’s most comprehensive roundup of state news, from more than 30 sites including newspapers, blogs, television and radio. The site’s original content is written by full-time, professional journalists with an eye toward transparency and accountability in state fiscal policy, and its content has been picked up by organizations including The Daily Record, Corridor Inc. magazine and The Business Monthly.

Len Lazarick is the editor and publisher of MarylandReporter.com. He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its untimely demise last February.

In the 1980s, Len was State House chief and political editor of Patuxent Publishing, then a chain of 13 weeklies, and in 1997, was senior associate producer at Maryland Public Television for a C-Span-style coverage of State House hearings. He has been an editor at numerous publications large and small, including the national copy desk of The Washington Post for eight years, and from 1988 to 1996, he was managing editor of Patuxent Publishing’s nine Baltimore County papers where he headed a staff of 30 editors, reporters and editorial assistants. Len spent eight years as the part-time news editor and political columnist for The Business Monthly circulating in Howard and Anne Arundel counties.

Andy covered Maryland government, politics and business for three years as the State House reporter for The Daily Record, Baltimore’s century-old newspaper of record for the legal and business community. As the senior business writer, he followed energy, finance and transportation, and created and wrote The Daily Record’s “Eye on Annapolis,” the newspaper’s only individual staff blog.