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Austin Investigative Reporting Project Board of Directors


Ken Martin
, President


MITCHELL-KATHYKathy Mitchell has served on nonprofit boards including the ACLU of Texas, the Austin Harm Reduction Coalition, and the Texas Campaign for the Environment. She is a freelance writer in Austin who has published work in The Good Life magazine, The Austin Chronicle, and the Austin Business Journal. In addition, she writes and edits investigative reports for the nonprofit Consumers Union of the United States on a wide range of topics, including sub-prime mortgage lending, the manufactured housing market, health care policy, and much more. After years of experience filing open records requests at the city and state level, then reporting on the results, she championed the need for far greater openness at the city. Today, she works primarily on the Internet, blogging for Consumers Union and managing its advocacy web content.

Chris-WittmayerChris Wittmayer graduated from the United States Military Academy, West Point, in 1970, and was commissioned a lieutenant in the Army. Over a 20 year career in the Army he served in the armored cavalry and intelligence, and in 1974 was assigned to attend the University of Texas School of Law. After graduation he served until 1990 in the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps. His various Army assignments included time in the Pentagon; the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, Virginia; on the faculty of The Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville, Virginia; and in Korea, Kansas, and at Fort Hood, Texas.

In 1990 he completed his Army service and joined a Dallas law firm. Returning to public service in 1992, he joined the City Attorney’s Office of the City of Dallas where he worked primarily on civil rights litigation, the desegregation of public and low income housing, and the improvement of low income, predominately minority, neighborhoods. In 2002 he became General Counsel of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. In 2006 he joined the consulting firm Accenture, advising the firm primarily on civil rights issues. In 2007 he joined the Law Department of the City of Austin where a major focus was on police use of force. In 2009 he decided to pursue personal interests. He and his wife of 39 years live in southwest Travis County.

Board of Advisors

Thorne Dreyer is editor of the Internet news magazine, The Rag Blog; host of Rag Radio on KOOP-FM 91.7 in Austin; and a director of the New Journalism Project. A pioneer of the Sixties underground press, Dreyer was a founding editor of The Rag in Austin and Space City! in Houston, and was an editor at Liberation News Service (LNS) in New York. He also served as general manager of Pacifica’s KPFT-FM in Houston, was a correspondent for the early Texas Monthly magazine, and for years ran a Houston public relations firm. You can follow the Rag Blog at http://www.theragblog.com

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About the Bulldog Journalists Print E-mail

Ken Martin, founder, editor and publisher: Ken got interested in journalism while a career officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. After serving more than 20 years on active duty, including a tour in Vietnam, he completed his career as a major and moved to Austin in 1978 to earn a humanities degree with a minor in journalism at the University of Texas. Today Ken may be the only living journalist who has worked full-time for publications located in the three major counties of the Austin metropolitan area: Travis, Williamson and Hays. He has been a reporter and editor in the tri-county area since 1981, including associate editor of Third Coast magazine (1981-84), managing editor and janitor of the Dripping Springs Dispatch (1984-85), and county and political editor of the Williamson County Sun (1986-89). His aggressive reporting twice garnered first-place national awards for investigative reporting. Both of those projects resulted in successful criminal prosecutions.

In launching The Austin Bulldog, Ken returned to his roots in investigative reporting, covering both the public and private sectors. Ken was an investigative reporter for the Austin Business Journal 1989-1990 and served as editor 1990-1994, a period in which the newspaper won numerous awards for journalistic excellence. In 1995, he started the In Fact weekly newsletter covering Austin City Hall and local politics. Beginning in 1998, while still publishing In Fact, he also owned and edited Texas Public Utility News for 13 months, producing a twice-monthly newsletter covering the Texas Public Utility Commission. In 1999, Ken began publishing the In Fact newsletter five days a week, making it In Fact Daily, Austin's first online newsletter. Meanwhile, in 1997, Rebecca Melançon and Ken founded The Good Life magazine, which he edited for more than 11 years. The magazine published numerous special reports, including five in 2008 alone, before ceasing publication in January 2009 due to the economy.

See Ken's selected bibliography

Others who have written for The Austin Bulldog

Rebecca LaFlure, reporter: Rebecca was a reporter for The Austin Bulldog from October 2011 through July 2012 who left to go to graduate school at Northwestern University. She obtained her bachelor’s in journalism at Baylor University. Originally from the Houston area, Rebecca began her journalism career as an education reporter for the Killeen Daily Herald, outside Fort Hood, one of the largest military bases in the world. She moved to Austin in June 2010, and covered Round Rock and Pflugerville city government, education and business news for Community Impact Newspaper until September 2011. Her thirst for investigative journalism brought her to The Austin Bulldog. Rebecca produced numerous projects based on deep background research from October 2011 through July 2012 before departing for graduate school at Northwestern University (Chicago) majoring in journalism.

Rebecca has earned state and national recognition for her reporting, including a first-place state award for coverage of a vigil honoring victims of the November 5, 2009, mass shooting at Fort Hood and a second-place national award for a report on the Round Rock school district’s efforts to close the achievement gap between minority and low-income students and their white and wealthier classmates.  

Caitln Perrone, intern, fall 2012 semester: Caitlin has been a practicing and published journalist since she was 16. She began her career as a news correspondent at the Times-Union in Warsaw, Indiana, covering a local town council meeting once per month. She has worked as a news reporter at The Papers Inc. and the Mail-Journal in Milford, Indiana, and at Community Impact Newspaper in Pflugerville, Texas. Caitlin, a senior majoring in journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, is currently editor-in-chief of The Horn, an online alternative news source for the University of Texas and Austin news. She enrolled in an investigative reporting class for the fall 2012 semester. After graduation Caitlin became a reporter for The Eagle (Bryan-College-Station).

Roger Baker started in high school about 1960 by supporting integration, and later by opposing the Vietnam war as a campus activist. He dropped out of UT to hang out and became a sort of marginal existence of slacker and policy wonk, published amateur scientist, and scholarly reformer. He frequently writes for The Rag Blog on topics centered on science, economics, energy and transportation and elsewhere, such as Energy Bulletin. He is a founding and advisory member of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil-USA. Locally he is on the boards of the Save our Springs Alliance and the Save Barton Creek Association. He is a card carrying member of the ACLU and Travis County Green Party.

Suzanne Batchelor is an independent writer and editor based in Austin who has reported for Ms. magazine, The Texas Observer, Wired.com, Medscape, CBS Healthwatch, WebMD, and the Women’s eNews news service. Her radio programs have been broadcast on the public-radio science series “Earth and Sky.”

 

 

 

Jacob Cottingham grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and graduated Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. He was the publisher of Savannah SNITCH and the founding editor of The South magazine.

Since 2007 he has lived in Austin, Texas and has covered local government and environmental issues for In Fact Daily and The Austin Chronicle.

 

 

Veteran journalist Gwen Gibson worked as a general assignment reporter in her early career for UPI, The New York Daily News and the New York Herald Tribune, covering everything from police beats to the White House. In more recent years, Gibson has freelanced for other national newspapers and magazines, including The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, New York magazine, the Washingtonian  and the AARP Magazine and website.

Her specialties over the years have included national and local politics as well as arts and entertainment and humor pieces.  Since moving to Austin from Washington, D.C., in 2006, she has contributed regularly to local and national magazines. 

Gibson is the author of three books and a member of ASCAP.

George “Trey” Hatt was a graduate student at Texas State University-San Marcos studying mass communication with a new media emphasis. He is the former community editor of the Llano County Journal where he covered everything from football games to murder trials, commissioners court to the U.S. Supreme Court.  He won awards from the Texas Press Association and West Texas Press Association for his writing and editing.

Trey also saw combat as a command gunner in Iraq in 2005 with the Texas Army National Guard and served in Bosnia in 1999 with the U.S. Army. Trey can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . His online portfolio can be seen at www.georgehatt.com.

Greg M. Schwartz holds a master's degree in journalism and mass communication from Kent State University. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Greg spent most of his adult life in San Francisco and Los Angeles before departing the Golden State in the fall of 2008 for a reporting opportunity in the Lone Star State as a staff writer for the San Antonio Current. San Antone and Greg did not agree however, and he relocated to Austin in September 2009.

Greg has reported for the Cleveland Free Times, Akron Beacon Journal, East Bay Express, KPFA Evening News and more. He is also a freelance music writer for PopMatters.com and Bullz-Eye.com.

Shelley Seale is an author and freelance journalist in Austin, who writes frequently about human rights issues. Her 2009 book, The Weight of Silence: Invisible Children of India, tells the story of many children of that country who have been trafficked, orphaned or live on the streets. Shelley has also written for CNN, National Geographic, the Austin Business Journal and the Seattle Times, among others.

She can be reached at www.shelleyseale.com.

 

Comments   

 
0 #1 Devin Greaney 2011-06-21 11:56
Happy to see you here!! I did a couple pieces for The Good Life and got to wondering what you have been up to since the end of that fine magazine. I LOVE this site!! Many congratulations to you!!
 

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