Jessie is a political reporter for the Capital Times in Madison, Wis. She loves politics, music and writing. Jessie plays the banjo and the piano, enjoys cheese and bacon and is an Iowan-Wisconsinite hybrid. She is not opposed to climbing through a window to get a good story.


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Where I've worked

Wisconsin: I'm currently a political reporter for the Capital Times, in Madison. Before that, I reported on education and politics for the Oshkosh Northwestern. I also interned in Madison during college, for Isthmus and the Center for Media and Democracy.

Iowa: I was the editor in chief of the Iowa State Daily, Iowa State University's independent, student-run newspaper. I also interned for the Des Moines Register.

New York: I interned for CNN's Money Unit, based in Manhattan, which oversees the shows "Your Money" and "Your Bottom Line."

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Who I am

I've answered to "Banjo Girl" and "Reporter Jessie," but I'd rather just do the asking and take notes.

I grew up in Marinette, Wis., where I could see Upper Michigan from my house. At age five, when our new neighbors moved in, I showed up at their doorstep with a legal pad, a pen and interview questions. It only took me a few more years to figure out that I was going to be a journalist.

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What I write

I’ve interviewed candidates and lawmakers at the local, state and national levels, Lamb Chop (yes, the sock puppet), musicians, researchers, 100-year-old lion statues (that's a long story), community members, educators, business owners and, every now and then, other reporters. 

I love the feeling that I've told someone's story — that I've helped give a voice to someone who wouldn't have otherwise been heard. I love the feeling that I’ve shed light on something that would have otherwise been ignored, and I love the possibility that I’ve made someone think about something in a way that they hadn’t considered before.