We’re excited to welcome our summer interns, more new hires

This time last year, Chalkbeat had nine employees. Today, we have 24 plus six summer interns (and we’re hoping at least two of those internships turn into full-time positions).

Needless to say we’ve grown very quickly and we are excited to welcome new, great talent to our team.

Here’s a brief look at some of our new hires who have started already or plan to start soon:

In Indiana, we’ve brought on Hayleigh Colombo as a reporter and Shaina Cavazos as an intern.

In New York, we’ve brought on Mary Ellen McIntire and Jackie Schechter as interns and Jessica Glazer as a contract reporter.

In Tennessee, we’ve brought on Grace Tatter as our legislative reporter based in Nashville and Oliver Morrison as an intern based in Memphis.

In Colorado, we’ve brought on Monique Collins as an intern.

Finally, on our network team, we’ve hired Rebecca Ross as our chief operating officer. Rebecca has more than fifteen years of experience designing innovative programs and products that create social impact and building the capacity of organizations that execute them. She has been a Vice President at ideas42 and Seedco where her work focused on issues of poverty, education and financial services for the poor in New York City and nationally. Rebecca has a BA from Vassar College and a MPA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government.

Introducing MORI– Our impact tracker tool

In February, we launched a tool called MORI– which stands for Measures of Our Reporting’s Influence. MORI is a WordPress plug in that was born of Chalkbeat’s fundamental belief that journalists can make a difference.

We’ve been using MORI for a couple months now with our reporters, and now we’re excited about the potential to share it with other newsrooms.

Today we set up this page, which includes a short MORI demo video and a link to a white paper we wrote at the request of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (who also commissioned a memorable paper on impact by Richard Tofel of ProPublica last year).

If there is enough interest from other newsrooms to use MORI, our hope is that we can get more funding and resources to improve the technology and share it with other organizations.

So check out our white paper, the MORI demo below and e-mail us at [email protected] if you’re interested in learning more!

Introducing Sarah Glen, our new engagement associate

sglenWe’re excited to welcome Sarah Glen as our new engagement associate for Chalkbeat. Sarah previously worked at Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome as a features producer.

She studied journalism and political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she also worked at The Daily Tar Heel, started a mobile-optimized news site with Reese News Lab and blogged about the 2012 election for The Washington Post. (Fun fact: When I was a senior and Sarah was a freshman, I was one of Sarah’s editors at our college newspaper. So cool to be able to work with her again.)

One of Sarah’s first projects is to improve our analysis of our current analytics data, i.e. trying to understand how well we’re serving our audience and how we can do it better. She’ll also be exploring how we can improve our readers’ website experience– so if you have any insights, shoot them her way!

Sarah also had the great idea of turning our “Chalkbeat in the news” section into “Inside Chalkbeat,” which will include updates about what’s going on behind the scenes at our organization. So keep checking back here for more news about what we’re up to.