KUER Expands Statewide Coverage With New Bureau Reporter
KUER, NPR Utah will add a third reporter to its growing statewide coverage project, the station announced today. Lexi Peery, a print and radio journalist based in St. George, is set to join the station’s Southwest Utah bureau in June as part of KUER’s ongoing partnership with the national service program Report for America.
"I've loved spending the last year in Southern Utah getting to know the people, the land and the issues better,” said Peery, a Utah native. “I'm excited to be able to tell stories from the southwest corner of the state for KUER. Being from the Salt Lake area makes the chance of working for the station extra special.”
Peery has spent the past year covering government, environment and development issues for The Spectrum & Daily News newspaper in St. George. Prior to her return to Utah, she served an environmental and newsroom fellowship at WBUR, a Boston-based NPR member station. Peery graduated from Boston University with a degree in journalism and interned on the WBUR call-in program On Point.
“Lexi is a great addition to our expanding team focused on enterprise and watchdog journalism, and her arrival couldn’t come at a more critical time for Utah and our audience amid the coronavirus pandemic,” said Andrew Becker, KUER’s executive editor of special projects. “Our state and region will be better served by Lexi’s knowledge of Utah and reporting skills. She’s well positioned to have an immediate impact.”
Peery will be based at KUER’s Southwest Utah bureau in St. George, one of two bureaus opened in 2019 with funding from Report for America (which places reporters, or “corps members,” in under-covered areas across the country). Using RFA grants, KUER hired Kate Groetzinger for its Southeast Utah Bureau and David Fuchs for its Southwest Utah Bureau. Since joining the newsroom, they’ve reported on homeless students in St. George, a controversial mining project near public lands and the impact of Covid-19 on the Navajo Nation, among scores of other stories.
With Peery’s arrival as a corps member in St. George this June, Fuchs will turn his focus to central Utah, including rural economies, communities and resources. All three statewide reporters will contribute to a new KUER investigative and enterprise reporting initiative led by KUER’s Andrew Becker.
Peery is among 225 journalists chosen from a highly selective national competition that drew more than 1,800 applications. For more about this year’s Report for America Corps, visit reportforamerica.org.