Ohio Capital Journal


The Ohio Capital Journal is a nonprofit news organization that informs residents about state government and its effects on their lives. Their journalism blends investigative reporting with political insight and principled commentary for an engaging reader experience.

On this episode of Prognosis Ohio, Dan Skinner speaks with David DeWitt and Jake Zuckerman from the Ohio Capital-Journal to get their take on what has transpired at the Statehouse this summer.

OCJ’s mission

The Ohio Capital Journal is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization dedicated to connecting Ohioans with their state government and its impact on their lives. Combining state government coverage with in-depth investigative reporting, political insight, and moral commentary. Editorial independence is ensured through its sustaining coalition of donors and readers; this work has won national awards, such as first place finish at the 2022 Society of Professional Journalists Best of State contest.

On this episode of Prognosis Ohio, host Dan Skinner chats with editors of OCJ David DeWitt and Jake Zuckerman to get the inside story on what has been happening at the Statehouse over recent months. Topics discussed include anti-mask/anti-vaccine legislation, attacks on public health measures this summer, and more.

They discuss how OCJ staff is taking advantage of new technologies to deliver news and information to the public in ways never possible, like creating a tool enabling readers to view an interactive map of the Statehouse floor and providing a timeline of events happening within its walls.

OCJ has recently taken an interest in prison education. Their website recently published an article about college-prep classes available at Mansfield prison, where inmates earn bachelor’s degrees; Dexter Bass made one himself while still incarcerated at Ashland University!

University administrators continue to play an essential role in campus safety and community well-being despite all their challenges, whether that means combatting violence, sexual assault complaints, or hate crimes. Universities must continue taking measures to protect students and provide support services as best possible.

Marty Schladen is an award-winning journalist who spent decades reporting from Indiana and Texas before returning home to work at The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio. His stories about utility regulation, public corruption, environmentalism, prescription drug spending, and price reduction have earned state and national journalism awards for investigative reporting. Marty also founded Scioto Analysis, a public policy analysis firm in Columbus, as a principal with his master of public policy degree from the University of California Berkeley.

OCJ’s staff

The Ohio Capital-Journal has an outstanding staff of reporters, editorial writers, and multimedia designers. Publishing both online and in print formats, their stories cover state government as it impacts Ohioans – from investigative reporting on policy outcomes to political insight with principled commentary. As a non-profit news organization supported by grants and donations from readers and donors – their staff strives to pursue truth while fulfilling public service missions.

The Ohio Capital-Journal has received numerous accolades, including two first-place finishes at the 2021 Society of Professional Journalists Ohio Best Journalism Contest for education issues reporting and government/political reporting. Other organizations, such as the National Press Club and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, have also recognized editors and reporters at OCR. As well as offering employees competitive wages and benefits packages.

Prognosis Ohio podcast host Dan Skinner connects with David DeWitt of Ohio Capital Journal and Jake Zuckerman of the same publication to gain perspective on recent happenings at Ohio Statehouse, including anti-vaccine legislation.

Susan Tebben of OCJ reporter Susan Tebben was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists for her outstanding education issues coverage in 2021. She won first-place honors in the digital media category for her story on a new law allowing high school students to choose either public or private schools; additionally, she was selected as a finalist in the general nonfiction category for coverage of the Ohio Supreme Court’s ruling regarding parental consent for abortions.

Tebben is one of OCJ’s award-winning statehouse editors. She takes great pride in upholding fairness and accuracy in her work, which has won the admiration of colleagues and critics alike.

Jennifer from OCJ covers congressional policy, politics, and legal challenges for States Newsroom. Recently, her articles explored education classes offered in prisons and Dexter Bass’s journey of earning his Bachelor’s degree at Ashland University while serving time behind bars.

OCJ’s coverage

The Ohio Capital Journal is an independent, nonprofit news organization dedicated to informing Ohioans of the state government’s effects on their lives and its impact on state affairs. Through original news reporting, in-depth investigative journalism, political insight, and moral commentary, it aims to empower citizens in holding elected officials accountable. Part of States Newsroom (a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by grants as well as donors and readers), yet maintaining editorial independence.

Prognosis Ohio podcast host Dan Skinner recently spoke with Ohio Capital Journal Editor David DeWitt and reporter Jake Zuckerman to get their take on what has happened at the Statehouse over recent months. Topics discussed included budget debate and how lawmakers have handled controversial proposals.

Other topics discussed included an editorial that strongly condemned Governor Mike DeWine for prioritizing his reelection campaign over Ohioans’ needs. The authors of the piece point out that even as Ohio ranks near the bottom nationwide for COVID-19 vaccination rates and is experiencing a surge in hospital admissions, DeWine has done nothing to safeguard residents’ health or counteract anti-vaccine groups.

A critical discussion point involves a new report on hazing at Ohio universities. The information discovered that due to a lack of awareness and understanding, the culture of silence prevails; moreover, the number of students admitting being hazed has increased over time.

Zurie Pope is a sophomore student at the University of Cincinnati, majoring in journalism with a minor in political science. She has worked on the editorial team at her college newspaper, The News Record, and contributed to Youth Journalism International and Unpublished Magazine. Zurie currently covers local news for Ohio Capital Journal as a senior member of BGSU News Alumni Society Board, as well as writing for Glasgow (KY) Daily Times, Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media as Appalachian News Leader / Bellevue Leader-Times columnists, respectively.

OCJ’s newsroom

The Ohio Capital Journal (OCJ) is a nonpartisan news organization that informs Ohioans about how state government impacts their lives through in-depth investigations and reporting consequences of policies with political insight and moral commentary. As part of States Newsroom 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by grants and a coalition of donors and readers while maintaining editorial independence, OCJ strives to foster informed conversations in Ohio about state politics that matter.

Prognosis Ohio host Dan Skinner speaks with Editor David DeWitt and reporter Jake Zuckerman from OCJ to gain perspective on what’s been happening at the Ohio Statehouse this summer, such as anti-mask/anti-vaccine legislation, sports betting prospects, etc.

OCJ is a prime example of nonprofit journalism’s viability in an environment of political division and social media outrage. With talented journalists devoted to their craft, its founders believe in enlisting and empowering them for impactful work; as with other nonprofits, however, OCJ relies on support from its audience for its survival – please donate online here if you would like to keep this kind of journalism going or refrain from clicking those annoying pop-up ads!