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The Star hires 11 new journalists as it expands coverage of Kansas City

·5 min read

The Kansas City Star has hired 11 new journalists as it expands the newsroom’s areas of coverage.

In August, Star President and Editor Mike Fannin announced plans to “dramatically expand our coverage and our newsroom staff” as the company planned new investments in digital and print products.

The Star added 16 pages a week to print editions as it shifted to in-depth coverage in reimagined print editions, introduced a new digital Morning Sports Edition and a new Dynamic eEdition. In addition, The Star created a new team of service-oriented journalists to help readers navigate daily life in Kansas City. The newspaper also plans to significantly expand its investigative team.

“We’re thrilled to welcome these talented journalists to our team,” said Greg Farmer, The Star’s managing editor. “They come to Kansas City wanting to make a difference in our community, and we can’t wait to see the great and important work they will do for our readers.”

Recent newsroom hires include:

J.M. Banks
J.M. Banks

J.M. Banks

Banks is The Star’s new culture and identity reporter, a role envisioned to shine light on underserved communities. He grew up in Kansas City and is an alumnus of the Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Most recently, he wrote for The Pitch and produced the podcast Urban Alchemy.

Lila Bromberg
Lila Bromberg

Lila Bromberg

Based in Columbia, Bromberg covers University of Missouri athletics for The Star. She came to The Star after graduating in May from the University of Maryland’s journalism school. She was the editor of the Testudo Times for four years, covering Maryland athletics. Bromberg also has written for USA Today sports, Yahoo Sports and Sports Illustrated and her work garnered first-place honors in this year’s Associated Press Sports Editors student contest.

Emily Curiel
Emily Curiel

Emily Curiel

Curiel is a member of The Star’s visuals team that tells community stories through photos and videos. She grew up in the Los Angeles area and is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University. Curiel previously worked for several Bay Area publications.

Dan Desrochers
Dan Desrochers

Daniel Desrochers

Desrochers is The Star’s new Washington, D.C., correspondent. Previously, he was a political reporter at the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky and the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia. In his most recent role in Kentucky, Desrochers led coverage of statewide and federal elections, including the 2020 reelection of Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Allison Dikanovic
Allison Dikanovic

Allison Dikanovic

Dikanovic is The Star’s new service journalism editor. She most recently worked as an engagement reporter at THE CITY, a local nonprofit newsroom serving New York City where she led the Civic Newsroom, an initiative that addressed reader questions to make it easier to participate in the city’s local election. She is a graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.

Matti Lee Gellman
Matti Lee Gellman

Matti Lee Gellman

Gellman is a reporter on The Star’s breaking news team. She comes to The Star after reporting on politics and policy for Modern Healthcare in Washington, D.C., where she explored how the pandemic magnified existing disparities in healthcare access. Previously, she worked on projects with the Associated Press and the Toronto Star.

Joseph Hernandez
Joseph Hernandez

Joseph Hernandez

Hernandez is a member of The Star’s new service journalism team. A native of Kansas City, Hernandez graduated from Cristo Rey Kansas City High School and the University of Missouri-Columbia. He previously wrote for the Columbia Missourian and The Pitch.

David Hudnall
David Hudnall

David Hudnall

David Hudnall will join The Star in November as a narrative writer. Hudnall grew up in Kansas City and is an alumnus of Rockhurst High School, the University of Missouri and DePaul University. He previously held a variety of positions at The Pitch, including editor, and was most recently editor-in-chief of the Phoenix New Times in Arizona.

Ed Timms
Ed Timms

Ed Timms

Timms is a new editor working on The Star’s opinion team. He has decades of journalism experience, working for more than 25 years at the Dallas Morning News as a reporter and editor. He most recently worked as the investigative editor at CQ Roll Call in Washington, D.C.

Aarón Torres
Aarón Torres

Aarón Torres

Torres is a breaking news and race/equity reporter who comes to The Star from The Knoxville News Sentinel in Tennessee. He studied journalism at the University of Texas and previously wrote for the Austin American-Statesman, the Tampa Bay Times and The Washington Post. Torres is fluent in English and Spanish and the son of Mexican immigrants.

Natalie Wallington
Natalie Wallington

Natalie Wallington

Wallington is a member of The Star’s new service journalism team. She most recently wrote for Popular Science, where she focused on wildlife and sustainability. Wallington’s freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Guardian, VICE News and Audubon Magazine. She studied political science at Johns Hopkins University.

Additionally, The Star recently announced two internal promotions.

Ian Cummings is now The Star’s senior editor coordinating the newspaper’s Reimagined Print efforts. In that role, he works with reporters and editors in Kansas City and at the Wichita Eagle. Cummings was previously an editor overseeing the newspaper’s breaking news coverage. He also led The Star’s initiative exploring the causes and consequences of gun violence in Missouri, a collaboration with Report for America and the Missouri Foundation for Health.

The Star also promoted Katie Moore to breaking news editor. Moore has been a reporter on the breaking news team since 2019. In that role, she covered an array of criminal justice issues, including a series revealing problems with Missouri’s public defender system and documenting new allegations of misconduct by federal prosecutor Terra Morehead.

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