Mountain State Spotlight is an independent, civic news organization that tells stories of importance to West Virginians about the issues and challenges facing our communities.

Mountain State Spotlight was established in 2020 with seed capital from the American Journalism Project, alongside investments from Report for America and ProPublica. Already one of the state’s largest newsrooms, it is on a path to become the primary source of information for West Virginians.

With support from the American Journalism Project, Mountain State Spotlight is building toward long-term sustainability and expanded statewide and multilocal coverage, with reporters in rural and urban communities across the state.


The support we receive from the American Journalism Project team has been instrumental in our ability to plan for the future and prioritize our goals while implementing new strategies.


  • Ken Ward Jr. is a distinguished reporting fellow with nonprofit newsroom ProPublica. Ken spent nearly three decades reporting for The Charleston Gazette on the impacts of coal mining, chemical manufacturing and natural gas drilling on his home state of West Virginia. In 2018, he received a MacArthur Fellowship (the so-called Genius Grant) for “revealing the human and environmental toll of natural resource extraction in West Virginia and spurring greater accountability among public and private stakeholders.” He grew up in Mineral County and graduated from West Virginia University.
  • Greg Moore grew up in Morgantown and graduated from West Virginia University. He spent nearly 25 years as an editor and reporter at the Charleston Gazette and Charleston Gazette-Mail, where he began his career in 1996 as a copy editor. He joined the Gazette’s city desk as an assistant city editor, then rose to become city editor and managing editor, and spent his last two years there as the Gazette-Mail’s executive editor.
  • Eric Eyre was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting in 2017 for stories on the opioid crisis. He is the author of Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight Against the Drug Companies That Delivered the Opioid Epidemic. He previously worked as a reporter for the Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette-Mail for 22 years, covering state government, health, business and education, and his award-winning investigative stories have mostly spotlighted issues in rural West Virginia communities.