CASPER — WyoFile, Wyoming’s leading nonprofit news source, is hiring a development director and an online content producer as the growing service expands its in-depth coverage of Wyoming people, places and policy.
Kelly Statton, of Cody, starts work full-time on Sept. 1 as development director for WyoFile. She will focus on raising funds through major gifts, memberships and corporate sponsorships.
“I’m excited to be a part of a growing effort to bring more in-depth news coverage to Wyoming,” said Statton, who most recently worked as executive director of the Riley Arena, a 24,000-square-foot ice arena and event center in Cody.
“I look forward to traveling to communities across Wyoming in the coming months to share details of the work WyoFile is doing, and to explore ways that individuals and organizations can support our mission,” she said.
WyoFile also has hired a new online content producer who will manage the web site and create multimedia content. Erik Myers, a recent Colorado State University graduate with a degree in technical journalism, has worked previously for NPR Music and SPIN Magazine.
“WyoFile is delighted to expand operations to provide more in-depth coverage of issues critical to the quality of life in Wyoming. Part of WyoFile’s mission is to share its news content with Wyoming media outlets free of charge. It’s important that we continue doing this at a time when newsrooms across Wyoming face financial strains and other challenges,” said WyoFile editor-in-chief Dustin Bleizeffer.
WyoFile does not charge for its online content, site visits or its weekly newsletter.
“WyoFile has shown that there is a need for more investigative reporting in Wyoming on a wide range of key issues,” said managing editor Ruffin Prevost, who will be stepping down from his position to develop a new independent, online news site that will launch later this year, covering Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and their gateway communities.
“We have proven that a small, focused organization can make a big difference,” Prevost said. He will continue to work for WyoFile as a special correspondent.
Since Bleizeffer and Prevost joined WyoFile in November, visits to the site have increased more than 120 percent over the same period a year ago. WyoFile stories have also reached hundreds of thousands of readers in print, appearing in The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, The Gillette News-Record, The Jackson Hole News & Guide, The Billings Gazette and many other Wyoming and regional newspapers.
WyoFile has collaborated with the Center for Public Integrity on investigations into workplace safety, mental health funding and dangerous chemicals used in oil refineries. It is a member of the Investigative News Network, and is collaborating on upcoming projects with the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle and Stanford University’s Rural West Initiative.
A portion of the funding for new staff members comes from a grant from the Wyoming-based George B. Storer Foundation. Established by the national broadcast pioneer who also founded Old Baldy Club and made Saratoga, Wyo. his home for many years, the foundation continues to support a number of organizations across the state.
“Better understanding the world we live in is key to Wyoming’s prosperity,” said Elizabeth Storer, president of the foundation. “WyoFile is a wonderful resource for communities and citizens at a time when many news outlets don’t cover the stories that WyoFile does. Our support for the news service is a terrific opportunity to make a difference in the lives of all Wyomingites.”
“Once again, we are grateful for the generous support of the George B. Storer Foundation and we are thrilled to have Kelly and Erik working with us,” said Bleizeffer.
WyoFile is funded with a combination of grants and individual contributions, and does not accept government funding. Additional funding for WyoFile has come from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Major supporters have included Christopher Findlater, Marcia Kunstel, Joe Albright, Anne Pendergast and the estate of the late Tom Stroock.
For additional details on staff, directors and donors, as well as information for editors and publishers on how to republish WyoFile content, visit www.wyofile.com/about.
Dustin Bleizeffer, editor-in-chief:
[email protected] or 307-577-6069