Directory:Justin McLachlan

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Justin McLaughlin, also bylined as Justin McLachlan, is a West Virginia investigative journalist. Justin grew up in Connellsville, Pennsylvania.[1]

McLaughlin earned a 1st place columnist award from the West Virginia Press Association and his series on the failed sewer system also won a public service award from the WVPA and resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement after five-years of litigation. [2] He currently writes the Campus Buzz column for the The Dominion Post (Morgantown), bylined as McLachlan instead of McLaughlin.[3]

Work as a Journalist

Most recently, McLachlan was a Times West Virginian reporter, though he has also contributed to CNN and the New York Times. Prior to coming to West Virginia, he worked for the Uniontown, Pennsylvania Herald Standard and its sister television station, HSTV.[4] He decided to become a reporter after being selected to work for Channel One News in Los Angeles while still in high school.[5] He spent several years after that as a writer for, a New York Times Company.[6] According to the Washington Post, McLachlan worked in the second Bush White House in the press office in 2003.[7][8]


Taylor University

McLachlan graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana with a degree in journalism in 2003.[9]

West Virginia University

McLachlan will complete a Master of Science in Journalism from WVU in 2008.Template:Fact

Online work

Template:Original research

Fifteen Minutes

As a blogger, McLachlan has continued much of the reporting he started at the Times West Virginian, including a series of articles on the state's Division of Juvenile Services.In 2006, after covering the Sago Mine Explosion, McLachlan wrote a personal story about his time there on the blog. Passages were included in the official Wikipedia entry on the blog and picked up on Metafilter. He also used the blog to expose a Maryland organization that claimed non-profit status when it hadn't received recognition from the IRS and revealed that that author of a controversial, profanity-laced, homophobic fundamentalist blog called Dying in Christ was really a West Virginia University student.


McLachlan launched Wikinovel, a collaborative novel similar to Wikipedia, based on another creation: Wikiworld. Wikiworld is collection of short stories based on the same, collaboratively written characters and settings.[10]

"For his projects, McLachlan outlines the story in 'beat sheets' before Wikinovel's contributors start writing and instructs them to stick to basic themes. 'I think people need to follow some kind of plan,' he says. McLachlan has also started Wikiworld, where users write a short story with a provided character and setting."[11]

In 2007, McLachlan became a gay writer and investigator for Mark Cuban's

Romenesko Media Notes

Jim Romenesko, an American journalist who runs the blog Romenesko on the website of the non-profit journalism school the Poynter Institute posted an email from McLachlan that said:

I learned what "professional journalists" were like my first few days as a White House intern, where among other things, I answered calls from reporters. ... There was the Today Show producer who called me a moron, the Houston Chronicle reporter who threatened to set off a bomb because no one had called him back, the freelancer who called me 30 times a day for a measly quote for her measly spec article, the camerman who yelled at me because security wouldn't open the gate he wanted them to open, the photographer who had to be man-handled by the Secret Service because he ignored my instructions, the CNBC crew that got in trouble for moving a table in the VP's ceremonial office that I told them not to move and the small-time Pennsylvania newspaper that thought it deserved special access to Tom Ridge, etc. You get the idea. They showed the kind of people "professional journalists" are and I can see from the rude, ageist and downright arrogant comments re: Krystal Grow's column that I was right.[12][13][14]

Public Records Controversy

Despite admitting that the school's police force "exercised an executive power of the state" as the APRA required, the public access counselor said that in his opinion, an office of a private school could not be found to be a public agency. [15]

According to the Student Press Law Center, McLachlan attempted to appeal the counselor's ruling. "'I respond with force to your opinion because, effectively, it says that the State of Indiana has legally authorized the creation of police forces equal to sheriff's deputies in power and authority, with shared jurisdiction in certain geographical areas, the power to arrest and detain citizens, without government control and public oversight of their operations,' McLaughlin wrote in his appeal," the center said.

The complaint garnered media attention and was picked up by the Associated Press and the Chronicle of Higher Education.[16] Despite McLachlan's appeal, the counselor stood by his decision and McLachlan didn't pursue the issue.[17][18]

Later McLachlan won a complaint filed against the Grant County Sherrif's department over records about Taylor University it tried to withhold.[19]

External links