Katie M. Shepherd
I’m a journalist interested in politics, policy and their influence in the world. I believe keeping politicians and officials accountable to the public is one of the most important jobs a reporter could do. I also love criminal justice stories and am obsessed with forensic science.
I’m a staff writer for Willamette Week. I’m also a Magic Grantee at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, where I’m working with a team of six Columbia and Stanford-affiliated journalists and engineers to produce sensors that can help gauge coral reef health in real time. The project, called Re(ef)source, aims to improve environmental reporting by modeling new ways that sensors, data and crowdsourcing can be used to tell powerful stories as our coral reefs endure the stress of rising ocean temperatures.
Previously, I was a James Reston fellow for The New York Times, where I reported for the politics desk in Washington, D.C. Previously, I worked for The Los Angeles Times and a regional paper in northern Virginia, The Free Lance-Star.
In May 2016, I graduated with honors from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where I spent a year developing my data skills, investigative reporting and narrative writing style. I graduated with a B.A. in English from UCLA in March, 2015.
I have experience breaking news including a police shooting, the death of a United States Marine, and local Los Angeles County law changes. My reporting spans more than six states, touching on higher education in California, gun regulations in Texas, abortion policy in Idaho and local artists and landmarks in Virginia. I’ve also reported on religion in Italy and nonprofit relief aid in the Philippines.
Read some of my best work: