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In March 2016, I got hired as a news reporter for the Portland Mercury in Portland, Oregon. I was previously a staff writer for Cleveland Scene magazine (2013-2015), a contributing writer at Deadspin (2012-2013) an enterprise reporter for the Daily Kent starter (2011-2012), and an intern at several publications. I’ve won a number of awards for my investigative reporting (see my LinkedIn page).

I have a bachelor’s degree in from Hiram College (political science, 2010) and a master’s degree from the Kent State School of Journalism & Mass Communication (reporting/editing track, convergence media focus, 2013).

Here are a few of my bigger stories:


Cleveland Scene —  “Roofie Island: A Summer of Reported Druggings and Rapes on Put-in-Bay, Lake Erie’s Party Destination

  • Comments: Scene’s most read feature story ever (300,000+ hits), connecting the dots about a date rape problem at a popular Ohio summer tourist spot. The central figure in the story, a bartender at a popular club/pool bar, was indicted for rape a month after this came out.

Cleveland Scene — “Turmoil at the Museum: Inside the Affair, Suicide and Abrupt Resignation That Rocked the Cleveland Museum of Art

  • Comments: written with colleague Sam Allard, this one was named second place for investigative reporting at the 2014 Association of Alternative Newsmedia awards. I wrote the sections on the woman’s death and the lackluster police investigation.

Cleveland Scene — “Degenerate, Inc.: The Paranoid and Obsessive Life of a Mid-Level Bookie

  • Comments: this is one of my favorite things I’ve written. It’s a profile of how a Cleveland-area bookie operation began and how it operates. It was featured on, linked all over the internet, and was shopped around to television studios to make a show out of it. – ““I’m Down For Drinks, Laughs, Sex”: The Sexual Harassment Claims That Brought Down Toledo’s Running Coach –  “How Washington State Football Confronted, And Didn’t Confront, The First Bad News Of The Mike Leach Era

  • Comments: A star football player accused his new high profile coach of abuse during practice. I figured out what happened.


Cleveland Scene – “Meet the Pro-Slavery Fairview Park Auxiliary Cop

  • Comments: I found insanely racist things a local police officer wrote online and confronted him about it (confirming it was him). Within an hour of its publication, he resigned/was forced out.  The story was all over the local news and major websites afterwards.

Cleveland Scene – “Police Report: Johnny Manziel Involved In Massive Fight Late Friday Night at The 9 in Downtown Cleveland

  • Comments: broke the story about the noteworthy Cleveland Browns quarterback’s involvement in a massive fight. It was all over the national media in hours.

Cleveland Scene – “Cleveland Police Officers Lobbied Judge On Behalf of Indicted Nightclub Owner in Previous Cocaine Distribution Case

  • Connecting the dots between a big-time drug dealer and Cleveland police officers.

Deadspin – “How North Dakota Lost Its Mind Over A “Choke Job”

  • A public-records story on a silly PR crisis involving the University of North Dakota athletic department.


My first meaningful reporting came when I was working as an enterprise reporter for the Daily Kent Stater while I was in graduate school at the Kent State School of Journalism and Mass Communication back in 2012. My three big stories from the Spring 2012 semester won a combined 14 awards from journalism organizations like the Society of Professional Journalists and the Associated Collegiate Press (each listed on my LinkedIn page). My reporting (particularly the records I was able to obtain) led to federal charges against a Ponzi schemer who donated $1 million to Kent State (and then withdrew it when I started asking questions). That was a few years ago, so I’m not going to focus too much on that now, but if you want to know more, just do the following Google searches to see relevant stories: “Doug Brown” and “Jason Cope” or “Doug Brown” and “Kent State”.