Connecticut has its own reporter in the nation’s capital again, as Deirdre Shesgreen joins The Connecticut Mirror as its Washington correspondent.
Shesgreen, who covered Washington for more than a dozen years for organizations including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, becomes the fifth reporter on the staff of the four-month-old Connecticut Mirror, which covers issues of government, public policy and politics affecting Connecticut.
Also joining the Mirror is Uma Ramiah, who will become the first participant in a fellowship program established in partnership with Connecticut Public Broadcasting and the New Haven Independent.
Ramiah will spend four months working with each partner organization in a unique 12-month fellowship. She will begin work in September after completing her masters’ degree in religion at Yale University.
It’s been more than a year since any Connecticut news organization has had its own reporter in Washington. Although several outlets belong to chains with bureaus in Washington, no one has a reporter specifically assigned to cover the state’s Congressional delegation.
Shesgreen covered the Missouri and Illinois delegations for the Post-Dispatch, and wrote on issues ranging from lobbying and campaign finance to immigration and health care. That work twice earned her the David Lynch Memorial Reporting Award for regional coverage of Congress. She was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for a series on rural health care in Missouri.
She also has worked as a reporter for Legal Times, Congressional correspondent for Capitol News Connection, and senior communication officer for the non-profit Center for Global Health Policy. Her work for The Mirror will include an emphasis on health and health care, as well as coverage of the state’s seven-member Congressional delegation and other issues of importance to the state.
Ramiah is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and expects to receive the degree of master of arts in religion with a concentration in African studies after completing an independent study program this summer. She also attended the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal.
She worked in Dakar as a research intern for Human Rights Watch in 2005-2006 and as a reporting intern for the United Nations Integrated Regional Information Network in 2007. She was a freelance journalist in West and Central Africa in 2007 and 2008.
Support for Washington reporting at The Connecticut Mirror comes from donors including the Connecticut Health Foundation and the Seedlings Foundation.
Support for The Mirror’s fellowship comes from The Knight Community Information Challenge, a five-year, $24 million initiative to help community and place-based foundations find creative ways to use new media and technology to keep residents informed and engaged.Other major supporters of The Connecticut Mirror include The Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Melville Charitable Trust, The San Francisco Foundation and the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund.