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Ask Our Reporters

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Claire Buchanan

The WNIJ newsroom is on a mission: serve our listeners through more community-driven reporting. The goal is to strengthen reporting about northern Illinois and increase transparency in journalism by including you in the process.

So let’s talk! What questions do you have about our community? What topics matter to you and your family? Enter your questions and comments below. If we look into your question, a reporter will be in touch with you.


Meet your public radio reporters:

Yvonne Boose- Arts, Culture and Spiritual Expression

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I'm a corps member for Report for America. I cover art, culture and spiritual expression. Do you know of any creative individuals that our listeners need to know about? Perhaps there's something going on in your church community that deserves to be highlighted. Send me an email at yboose@niu.edu to share your story ideas.

Maria Gardner Lara- Latinx Community and Local Government


I'm a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America. I cover local government and the growing Latino community in northern Illinois. Is there is something you feel that should be covered that isn't being reported on? Have a news tip? Send me an email at mgardner3@niu.edu.

Peter Medlin- Education

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Hi! I’m the education reporter and host of the podcast Teachers’ Lounge here at WNIJ. I cover stories from classrooms across our listening area, and interview inspirational educators. I try to find stories that aren’t covered anywhere else, whether it be schools excluding students with a lesser-known form of discipline or a middle school transforming how they teach English. Is there a school story in your community you think we should know about? Or an awesome educator who deserves a spotlight? If so, you can reach me directly at pmedlin@niu.edu.

Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco- Environment


I think that it can easily feel like “environmental reporting” is something that happens elsewhere, faraway, and not here. Stories about impending pipelines, receding lakes, and disappearing flora and fauna probably come to mind. My job as WNIJ's environmental reporter is to investigate the evolving ecosystems in northern Illinois. To me, that means developing new projects that make the stories of the rapidly changing nature of our water sources, wildlife, and landscapes resonate with our audience in new and meaningful ways. If you’ve got any ideas, I’m all ears! My email is jramirez11@niu.edu.

Susan Stephens and Dan Libman- Under Rocks Podcast

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We're part of the Under Rocks team. Under Rocks is a community driven journalism project where listeners get to ask the big questions: who, what, when, where and why. We explore the oddities, neglected anomalies, and little-known place-makers of our Midwest region. Keep us in mind when you encounter something odd and interesting when you are out and about in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Drop us an email at rocks@niu.edu.

Read some of the reporting that’s been made possible thanks to community input:

The Culinary Historians of Northern Illinois are preserving our stories, recipes, and community cookbooks -– and putting it all into a bigger societal context. Join WNIJ’s Under Rocks team as we take a deep dive into grandma’s recipe box and serve up a big slice of chocolate kraut cake. Your ideas are welcome at rocks@niu.edu!
A group of DeKalb-area faith-leaders spoke candidly during a recent forum about a subject that some people in their profession might avoid.
Many people will say student voices are important. But they’re not often heard. And, thanks to the pandemic, there have been fewer opportunities for them to speak their mind to school leaders.