States Newsroom launches Rhode Island Current

The New Rhode Island Outlet will be led by veteran journalist Janine Weisman


States Newsroom, the nation’s leading network of state-based nonprofit news outlets, launched the Rhode Island Current to provide free, high-quality, non-partisan reporting on the important issues affecting the Ocean State. With the launch of the Rhode Island Current, States Newsroom now has outlets in 33 states with content sharing agreements with independent newsrooms in eight additional states.

Veteran journalist Janine Weisman will be leading the Current as editor-in-chief. Weisman spent 25 years in The Newport Daily News’ newsroom, including 13 as editor of the weekly Newport Mercury. An adjunct professor in the journalism program at Roger Williams University, Weisman earned a master’s degree in speech communication from the University of Maine and is a graduate of Rhode Island College.

Additional members of the Rhode Island Current’s newsroom include:

  • Kevin Andrade, senior reporter: Andrade was previously a reporter for The Providence Journal and The Standard-Times (New Bedford, Massachusetts). His work has appeared in O Jornal: The Portuguese Journal, The Boston Globe, and several regional NPR stations. Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, Andrade has a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of Arizona and is a graduate of Rhode Island College.
  • Nancy Lavin, reporter: Lavin is an award-winning journalist who previously reported on banking and finance, energy and entrepreneurship for Providence Business News. She spent three and a half years at the Frederick (Maryland) News-Post and worked at The Westerly Sun. She is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island.
  • Christopher Shea, reporter: Shea was previously an editor of Dartmouth (Massachusetts) Week for nearly two years after previously being a reporter. During his time there, he broke the story of the closure of the former ICE facility at the Bristol County House of Corrections. A Wisconsin native who is fluent in Spanish, Shea graduated from the University of Minnesota and interned at The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“We are thrilled to expand to the Ocean State with Janine and the strong team of reporters she has brought together,” said Chris Fitzsimon, director and publisher of States Newsroom. “The Rhode Island Current will produce vital journalism that helps Rhode Islanders understand what is happening on Smith Hill and how it affects their daily lives.”

The Rhode Island Current’s launch comes one week after States Newsroom announced it was selected by The Pew Charitable Trusts to be the new home of Stateline — merging the two state policy-focused organizations to expand their incisive reporting on state government around the country.

As part of its continued growth, States Newsroom announced in 2021 its plans to expand its footprint to have newsrooms in roughly 40 states and launched News from the States, a comprehensive source for statehouse news across the country. States Newsroom extended the reach of its reporting by launching content-sharing partnerships with eight independent nonprofit outlets, including The Texas Tribune, to host their reporting on News from the States.

Last year, Pew Research Center cited States Newsroom and other nonprofit newsrooms as key to filling the void in statehouse coverage left by staffing cuts at legacy media outlets. According to Pew, the overall percentage of reporters working for nonprofit newsrooms in the statehouse press corps has more than tripled since 2014 and now makes up the largest portion of statehouse reporters in 10 states and the second largest in 17 states.

States Newsroom, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is funded by the generous contributions of readers and philanthropists. States Newsroom is committed to supporting fact-based, non-partisan news to the public at no cost and ad-free.

Other States Newsroom affiliates and legacy partners are:

Alabama Reflector –

Alaska Beacon –

Arkansas Advocate –

Arizona Mirror –

Colorado Newsline –

Florida Phoenix –

Georgia Recorder –

Idaho Capital Sun –

Indiana Capital Chronicle –

Iowa Capital Dispatch –

Kansas Reflector –

Kentucky Lantern –

Louisiana Illuminator –

Maine Beacon –

Maryland Matters –

Michigan Advance –

Minnesota Reformer –

Missouri Independent –

Daily Montanan –

Nebraska Examiner –

Nevada Current –

New Hampshire Bulletin –

New Jersey Monitor –

Source New Mexico –

NC Policy Watch –

Ohio Capital Journal –

Oregon Capital Chronicle –

Pennsylvania Capital-Star –

South Dakota Searchlight –

Tennessee Lookout –

Virginia Mercury –

Wisconsin Examiner –

In addition to its network of 33 state-based outlets, States Newsroom has content-sharing agreements with eight leading nonprofit newsrooms: CommonWealth (Massachusetts), Connecticut Mirror, Honolulu Civil Beat (Hawaii), Mountain State Spotlight (West Virginia), Mississippi Today, Texas Tribune, VTDigger (Vermont) and WyoFile (Wyoming).