Reporters and Editors

Laura Frank

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Laura Frank is the vice president for news at Rocky Mountain PBS and founder of the I-News division. Laura is a Denver native who spent 20 years at newspapers, radio and public television around the country, specializing in in-depth reporting that requires data analysis and deep public records research. She has trained hundreds of journalists for more than a dozen media organizations, including the nation’s largest newspaper company (Gannett). Her work has been recognized in both broadcast and print, including a regional Emmy for documentary production in 1990 and as a top-10 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 at the Rocky Mountain News.

Laura started her first business at age 16 and began syndicating reports to radio and newspapers that same year. She is a Knight Fellow at the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC Marshall School of Business, and serves on the board of directors of the national Investigative News Network.

Cynthia Hessin

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Cynthia Hessin is host and executive producer of the Colorado State of Mind, the weekly news discussion series on Rocky Mountain PBS, where I-News’ original reporting appears regularly. She wrote and narrated the recent Rocky Mountain PBS I-News documentary, “Losing Ground: The Cliff Effect,” about a little-known trap in Colorado public assistance law which ensnares many single parents.

Hessin is a Denver area native and previously worked as a reporter in two other local television newsrooms, KCNC and KMGH. Her honors include induction into the prestigious Silver Circle at the 2013 Heartland Emmy Gala.

This honor is awarded to broadcast professionals who have worked in the industry for 25 years or more and have made substantial contributions to both their craft and their community.

She has earned regional and national recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Association for Women in Communications, and the Colorado Broadcasters Association, as well as six regional EMMY awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) for writing, producing and performance. She has been active in related professional organizations, including a term as the first female president of the Denver Press Club from 1996 to 1997.

Jim Trotter

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Jim Trotter

is highly regarded in Colorado journalism and beyond. He was the senior editor for investigative and enterprise journalism at the Rocky Mountain News when it closed in 2009. Since then, he has been with the Associated Press, responsible for enterprise journalism in 13 western states.

Jim has edited Pulitzer Prize-winning articles and an Emmy-winning documentary. He has been a columnist at a major metropolitan newspaper and been editorial director for the public affairs show of a major metropolitan television station. He was winner of the Dart Society’s 2010 Mimi Award, recognizing both his compassion and leadership.

He is uniquely qualified to help I-News work with print, broadcast and digital news media across Colorado to produce important public-service journalism. Jim’s hiring is made possible through a generous grant from The Colorado Health Foundation.

Burt Hubbard

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Burt Hubbard is the editorial director of Rocky Mountain PBS I-News. Burt is well-known in the journalism world for his data analysis skills. His numerous awards include two prestigious Best of The West awards, a national education award for investigative reporting, and Reporter of the Year in Colorado.

He also was a top-10 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting for the Rocky Mountain News and is enshrined in the Scripps Howard Journalism Hall of Fame. Burt has taught computer-assisted reporting and internet research to graduate students for 11 years at the University of Colorado School of Journalism and Mass Communication. For the past three years he has led research symposiums for journalists and citizens throughout Colorado on behalf of the university. Burt recently left the Denver Post to join I-News.

Kristin Jones joined I-News as health reporter in September 2013. Kristin's investigative reporting on health and justice has won national awards, including the Robert F. Kennedy Award for public service journalism and the Dart Center Award for reporting on trauma. Before joining I-News, Kristin covered business for the real-time news desk of The Wall Street Journal.

Kristin Jones

Kristin Jones joined Rocky Mountain PBS I-News as health reporter in September 2013. Kristin's investigative reporting on health and justice has won national awards, including the Robert F. Kennedy Award for public service journalism and the Dart Center Award for reporting on trauma. Before joining I-News, Kristin covered business for the real-time news desk of The Wall Street Journal.

Joe Mahoney

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Joe Mahoney is a staff photojournalist with Rocky Mountain PBS I-News. Mahoney was a staff photographer and then Assistant Director of Multimedia for the Rocky Mountain News from 1999 until the paper closed in 2009. He was part of photo teams that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography in 2000 and 2003 covering the Columbine school shootings and wildfires in Colorado. Mahoney won an Emmy in 2010 in the Topical Documentary category for his work as associate producer on “Final Edition.”

He also teaches photojournalism, multimedia and social documentary courses as an adjunct faculty member at Metropolitan State University in Denver and has been a frequent coach at the National Press Photographers Association’s “Multimedia Immersion” and the “NewsVideo” workshops. Mahoney began his career and spent nine years with The Associated Press.

I-News reporter Katie Kuntz

Katie Kuntz

Katie Kuntz is an award-winning investigative reporter with Rocky Mountain PBS I-News. Katie’s skills as a multimedia journalist stem from her background in radio, television, documentary filmmaking and newspaper reporting.

Katie was the University of Iowa Kappa Tau Alpha Top Scholar – an award reserved for the graduating senior with the highest grade point average in the class. She also studied economics and was the news director of the college radio station, KRUI 89.7 FM. Katie created, wrote, shot, produced and edited a 30-minute investigative documentary called “Breaking the Cycle: Meth Addiction in the Heartland” as part of her work with The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism and IowaWatch.org. Her work has been recognized with a regional Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Ann Carnahan Espinola

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Ann Carnahan Espinola wrote more than 2,000 bylined stories during her two decades at the Pittsburgh Press and Rocky Mountain News. Her many awards include the National Education Writers Association award for distinguished reporting and the Shining Star Award, presented by the Colorado Press Association for the most consistently excellent reporter.

She was part of a News team whose coverage of a fatal wildfire was named as a top-three finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Ann was the first reporter in the history of the Rocky Mountain News to be inducted into the Scripps Howard Hall of Fame. At the News, she was named best reporter by her co-workers and won the editor-in-chief’s award for outstanding worker. Her beats included city hall, police, and civil and criminal courts. She also wrote an investigative column as well as a series of stories updating the lives of newsmakers after they faded from the limelight.

Ann is originally from Pennsylvania, but has called Denver home for more than 25 years.