Who We Are
Founder, Education Writer
Before founding NJ Spotlight in 2009, John Mooney covered education in New Jersey for 15 years as a reporter for The Newark Star-Ledger and The Bergen Record and as a contributing writer for The New York Times. He has won numerous state and national awards, including honors from the Education Writers Association and the American Society of News Editors. John also has spoken at conferences and other events regarding school issues facing New Jersey and the role of education journalism. He lives in Montclair, N.J.
Founder, Managing Editor
Lee Keough is an award-winning journalist and editor with more than 25 years experience. After starting her career as a reporter at N.J. daily The Herald-News, Keough began working at a variety of computer publications. She served as editor in chief of Techweb, a network of web sites for IT professionals. Under her guidance, Techweb was cited as one of the three most important B2B sites by Advertising Age. Keough led Data Communications, a McGraw-Hill Companies publication and web site to more than 40 national awards for editorial excellence while editor in chief. Keough also served as editorial director of Telecom ’97 and ’99, the world’s largest telecom trade show, which is sponsored by a division of the United Nations. There she oversaw television programming and a daily newspaper. She is cofounder and president of The Forsite Group, an editorial services company.
Founder, Energy & Environment Writer
Tom Johnson is a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in reporting and editing at New Jersey newspapers. A veteran reporter for The Newark Star-Ledger, Johnson worked in the Statehouse and in Newark covering energy, environmental and telecommunications issues. Before that he served as editor of the Ridgewood Newspapers and a reporter and editor at the Herald-News. A recipient of many state and national journalism honors, including recognition by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for coverage of the environment, he was a member of the Star-Ledger’s nationally award-winning business section. After leaving the Ledger in early 2009, he served as press secretary to the Daggett Campaign for Governor. He lives in Plainfield, N.J.
Andrew Kitchenman has covered New Jersey state and local government, as well as its business community, for more than 10 years. As a reporter at NJBIZ and The Times of Trenton, he has written articles about health insurance, hospitals, and how federal healthcare laws affect New Jersey residents and businesses. At The Times, he cowrote a series focusing on the effects of toxic lead on Mercer County residents. He is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Sandy Recovery Writer
Scott Gurian reports on the Sandy recovery along the New Jersey coast for both NJ Spotlight and WNYC/NJ Public Radio. Previously, he was a producer at The Takeaway, a national news program produced at WNYC. He also spent five years as News Director at public radio station KGOU in Norman, OK, where he covered everything from the Oklahoma City bombing anniversary and political wrangling at the state capitol to tornadoes and the annual prison rodeo. Scott's work has aired on NPR, the BBC, and dozens of public radio stations and programs around the country. His reporting has won numerous awards.
Director of Community Engagement & Social Media
Paula Saha comes to NJ Spotlight from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, where she worked as part of the public affairs team to plan events, publicize performances, and expand the Arts Center's inhouse and social media audiences. Prior to that, she spent nine years as a reporter with The Star-Ledger, where she wrote a weekly community news column and covered everything from local government to crime, education, planning, and environmental issues. Paula is a graduate of Syracuse University's masters program in newspaper journalism, where she was the recipient of the Newhouse Fellowship for Minority Journalists. email@example.com
Director of Editorial Operations
Aaron Fischer is a partner at The Forsite Group, an editorial services company. He has been an online and in-print editor for three decades, including a 12-year stint at The McGraw-Hill Companies. He served as director of editorial operations for TechWeb, CMP’s award-winning Web portal for information technology professionals. Besides editorial, Fischer has been involved in search engine optimization and usability engineering. He is the recipient of numerous awards.
Editor at Large
A lifelong New Jersey resident, Colleen O'Dea has spent her entire career reporting news in the state, covering topics that include politics, state government, education, environment, and development. Most recently, she handled computer-assisted reporting for the Daily Record of Parsippany. Colleen has freelanced for a number of New Jersey and national publications. She has won numerous state and national journalism awards, as well as fellowships, for reporting on children and families and in social media.
Mark J. Magyar
Editor at Large
Mark J. Magyar teaches labor studies at Rutgers University and is a frequent contributor to New Jersey Spotlight. He covered the 2003 Rutgers-UMDNJ-NJIT merger proposal for New Jersey Reporter magazine. A veteran Statehouse reporter, he served as deputy policy chief in the Whitman administration and as director of policy for the independent Daggett for Governor campaign in 2009.
Tara Nurin is a freelance journalist based on the Camden, NJ, waterfront. Since leaving a 10-year career as a TV news reporter in 2005, she’s worked as a national columnist, city editor, features reporter, publicity director, and documentary producer. The award-winning reporter has lived all over the world and is fluent in Spanish and French.
Hank Kalet is a veteran journalist and editor, who has covered economic issues, government, and entertainment in central New Jersey for more than two decades.
During three decades reporting in New Jersey, Joe Tyrrell has covered everything from Avon to Zarephath, with a particular emphasis on politics and government, the environment and agriculture. He founded the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government, which unites civic groups, citizens and journalists to promote transparency and ethics.
Kevin Harold has more than 30 years publishing experience with traditional and electronic media and has helped build and maintain global brand equity at multinational companies. As executive vice president operations for Rand McNally, Harold was responsible for a number of multimedia products, including vehicle-routing software and GPS-based services.
Harold also served as senior vice president of new media at BusinessWeek and senior vice president of McGraw-Hill's high-tech magazine group, which published Byte, Data Communications, and LAN Times. He was founding publisher of tele.com, the magazine that documented the rise of converged networks. firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Ruess is responsible for creating donor programs and other ways for the public to support NJ Spotlight's mission. She will also manage current and future foundation grants. Ruess served as managing editor of New Jersey Reporter Magazine, and covered the statehouse for The Record of Bergen County. She also covered Congress for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Ruess worked as press secretary for U.S. Rep. Rush Holt and directed communications for several New Jersey nonprofit agencies. Most recently, she headed up fundraising campaigns for the George School, a Quaker high school in Bucks County, PA.
Web Site Design & Development
Jonathan Soo founded New Agora -- a firm that builds and maintains innovative Web sites and systems --while he was a graduate student at MIT. Since its inception in 1995, New Agora has created content and community management systems that make it easy for technical and nontechnical users worldwide to create, collaborate and publish all kinds of content on the World Wide Web. New Agora works with companies of all sizes, from one-person startups to the Fortune 500.
Emily Zimmermann is a project manager at New Agora. She is an expert HTML coder and troubleshooter. She works closely with clients, building out front and back ends on a variety of projects.