States Newsroom launches Washington State Standard

States Newsroom’s Washington State outlet will be led by Bill Lucia


States Newsroom, the nation’s leading network of state-based nonprofit news outlets, launched the Washington State Standard to provide free, high-quality, non-partisan reporting on the important issues affecting the Evergreen State. With the launch of the Washington State Standard, States Newsroom’s network now includes outlets in 33 states with content-sharing agreements with independent newsrooms in 10 additional states.

Bill Lucia, who has over a decade of experience reporting on state and local policy and politics, will be leading the Washington State Standard’s newsroom as editor-in-chief. Most recently, Lucia was the executive editor for Route Fifty, an online news journal for state and local public officials that covers trends, challenges and emerging issues in states and localities across the U.S. Based in Olympia, Lucia received his bachelor’s degree from New York University and a master’s degree from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington. In his free time, he enjoys rock climbing, running and sea kayaking.

Additional members of the Washington State Standard newsroom include:

Jerry Cornfield, deputy editor: Cornfield has spent the last four decades covering politics and government in California and Washington. Prior to the Standard, Cornfield worked as a political reporter and columnist at the Everett Daily Herald for 20 years where he focused on state and local politics. Before then, he worked in media for 12 years in Santa Barbara, reporting for daily and weekly newspapers, serving as editor-at-large for Santa Barbara magazine, producing and hosting a daily radio talk show, and appearing regularly as a political commentator on network TV.

Laurel Demkovich, senior reporter: Demkovich is joining States Newsroom after working as a legislative reporter for the Spokesman-Review where she covered Washington state government, the Legislature and all other happenings in Olympia. Prior to then, she was an intern at The Washington Post, Tampa Bay Times and the Daily Hampshire Gazette. An Indiana native, she received her bachelor’s in journalism and political science from Indiana University – Bloomington.

Grace Deng: Deng is joining the State Standard after covering Minnesota’s legislative session for States Newsroom’s Minnesota Reformer as part of the Medill School of Journalism residency program. She is a recent graduate from Northwestern University where she received her bachelor’s in Journalism.

“We are thrilled to launch the Washington State Standard to bolster statehouse coverage in Olympia,” said Chris Fitzsimon, director and publisher of States Newsroom. “The workings of state government is often the least covered level of our democracy while affecting people’s daily lives the most. Our mission is to ensure everyone has access to fact-based, high-quality reporting. We know that Bill and his team of reporters will deliver on that mission to help Washingtonians understand how decisions being made in Olympia are affecting the Evergreen State.”

States Newsroom aims to have outlets in roughly 40 states by mid 2024. As part of its continued growth, States Newsroom announced in March that it was selected by The Pew Charitable Trusts to be the new home of Stateline — merging the two state policy-focused organizations to expand their incisive reporting on state government around the country. The nonprofit news organization extended the reach of its reporting last year by launching content-sharing partnerships with eight independent nonprofit outlets, including The Texas Tribune, to host their reporting on News from the States, States Newsroom’s comprehensive statehouse news site.

Last year, Pew Research Center cited States Newsroom and other nonprofit newsrooms as key to filling the void in statehouse coverage left by staffing cuts at legacy media outlets. According to Pew, the overall percentage of reporters working for nonprofit newsrooms in the statehouse press corps has more than tripled since 2014 and now makes up the largest portion of statehouse reporters in 10 states and the second largest in 17 states.

States Newsroom is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is funded by the generous contributions of readers and philanthropists. States Newsroom is committed to supporting fact-based, non-partisan news to the public at no cost and ad-free.

Other States Newsroom affiliates are:

Alabama Reflector –
Alaska Beacon –
Arkansas Advocate –
Arizona Mirror –
Colorado Newsline –
Florida Phoenix –
Georgia Recorder –
Idaho Capital Sun –
Indiana Capital Chronicle –
Iowa Capital Dispatch –
Kansas Reflector –
Kentucky Lantern –
Louisiana Illuminator –
Maryland Matters –
Michigan Advance –
Minnesota Reformer –
Missouri Independent –
Daily Montanan –
Nebraska Examiner –
Nevada Current –
New Hampshire Bulletin –
New Jersey Monitor –
Source New Mexico –
NC Newsline –
Ohio Capital Journal –
Oregon Capital Chronicle –
Pennsylvania Capital-Star –
Rhode Island Current –
South Dakota Searchlight –
Tennessee Lookout –
Virginia Mercury –
Wisconsin Examiner –

In addition to its network of 33 state-based outlets, States Newsroom publishes Stateline and has content-sharing agreements with 10 leading nonprofit newsrooms: CommonWealth (Massachusetts), Connecticut Mirror, Honolulu Civil Beat (Hawaii), Maine Beacon, Mississippi Today, New York Focus, The Texas Tribune, VTDigger (Vermont), Mountain State Spotlight (West Virginia) and WyoFile (Wyoming).


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