Kelsey Ryan, investigative reporter for the “Kansas City Star” and former editor of The Bulletin, was part of a team of journalists that led “The Star” to become a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service.
The story, “‘One of the most secretive, dark states’: What is Kansas trying to hide?” exposed the level of secrecy that the Kansas government uses to hide certain executive decisions.
The “Star” was second to “The New York Times” and “The New Yorker” for leading the coverage on the #metoo movement.
“For courageous, revelatory journalism that exposed a state government’s decades–long ‘obsession with secrecy,’ intended to shield executive decisions and suppress transparency and accountability in law enforcement agencies, child welfare services and other sectors of the government,” reads the rationale for why “The Star” placed as a finalist on the Pulitzer website.
Ryan, who was a political science major with a journalism minor during her time at ESU, said that when she began taking classes she had no intention of becoming a journalist.
“Working at The Bulletin completely changed what I thought I was going to be doing with my life,” Ryan said. “Having that hands-on experience in college and having an adviser like Max (McCoy, Bulletin adviser and professor of English, modern languages and journalism) really did have an influence on my decision to do this professionally.”
Ryan, originally from Newton, Kansas, graduated from ESU in 2011 and moved on to work for a year at “The Joplin Globe” as the education reporter, according to her website. She then worked at “The Wichita Eagle” for four and a half years before joining “The Star.”