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:

BBC News

Sisterlocks struggle: Stylists want fewer restrictions to braid hair

Freedom Caucus: Do these 29 white men run America?

Are Washington girls really going missing?

Deportation in Trump’s America: Week 1, Week 2

The New York Times

Delays Persist in Shuttering D.C. Homeless Shelter That Few Consider Livable

Township Saw a Zoning Issue. The Justice Dept. Saw Religious Discrimination.

Activists Exhort Pentagon to Fix Vietnam War Website They Say Lacks Context

A Muslim Community in Virginia Feels the Heat of Extremists’ Sins

Part-Time Jobs and Thrift: How Unpaid Interns in D.C. Get By

How Mike Pence and Donald Trump Compare on the Issues

How Tim Kaine and Hillary Clinton Compare on the Issues

Groups Unite Across America to Protest Police Shootings

The Los Angeles Times

Innovation is blooming at water-wise urban farms

Under new EPA rule, Clean Water Act protections will cover all active tributaries

Texas universities seek curbs on new law allowing concealed guns on campus

The Free Lance-Star

Larceny offenses lead area crime rates

Swimming continues at Fredericksburg quarry despite teen’s death

The Daily Bruin

Through Hell and High Water

Sinking Beneath the Surface

How to Reach Me

If you have a tip, comment or feedback on a story, send me an email at kms2272(at)columbia(dot)edu. You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram.