Melinda Wittstock is an award-winning journalist, social media evangelist and entrepreneur. Passionate in her belief that greater expertise lies outside the traditional newsroom than within it, she founded NewsiT, a mobile "crowd-reporting" platform. NewsiT empowers and rewards its citizen contributors. An innovative curation process combining algorithms, game layer incentives and professional journalists ensures high-quality news and information.
Melinda created Ask Your Lawmaker in 2007 while she was the CEO of Capitol News Connection. CNC's mission was to engage voters in the democratic process and hold lawmakers accountable. What better a way to make political news coverage pass the "why should I care test" for people in local communities across the United States than by having regular folk ask the questions. She learned fast that citizens were more adept at getting politicians off their prepared scripts, and the questions they asked often resulted in stories later broadcast on CNC subscribing stations.
A serial entrepreneur and a TV, radio and print journalist and producer with 20 years of experience in New York, Washington and London, her work spans BBC Radio and TV News, ABC News, National Public Radio (NPR), MSNBC/CNBC as well as London's Times, Guardian, and Observer newspapers. Brought up in New York and Toronto, she graduated with an Honors B.A. in political science from McGill University. She joined the London Times as a correspondent when she was 22, before moving to the Financial Times and CNBC Europe in 1994 to develop and host daily financial broadcasts. In 1995 she became a prime-time anchor at BBC World TV, where she covered most of the big breaking news stories of the time, from the Oklahoma City bombing to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the death of Princess Diana. In 1998, she joined ABC News to anchor World News Now and World News This Morning; she also reported for BBC Radio and TV from New York, created the nightly news magazine USA Direct, and hosted the half-hour BBC interview program, Hard Talk. She has anchored at MSNBC and CNBC and wrote for the London Observer. Melinda lives in Washington D.C. with her husband Mark McDonald, their two young children, Sydney and Finn, and golden retriever Josie.
Elizabeth joined CNC in 2007 as its senior correspondent. She won a prestigious National Press Club 'Dirksen' Honorable Mention for her exclusive reporting on Power Breakfast, now a must-watch on NBC4 in Washington for anyone who cares about the personalities, policies and power-plays that shape the week ahead in Washington. Though Elizabeth was born and raised in Washington, D.C., her career in narrative journalism began in the West. As the North Idaho bureau chief for Northwest News Network, she covered Idaho and Eastern Washington and became a frequent contributor to NPR and Marketplace. She donned body army to spend time with soldiers training for Iraq. She talked her way into the home of a polygamous family in Canada. Her radio stories have earned top awards from Public Radio News Directors’ Inc., the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio-Television News Directors’ Association, Idaho Press Club and the Oregon Associated Press. Elizabeth has an M.A. in Documentary Filmmaking from Stanford University and a B.A. in Political Science from Wellesley College. She also spent two years as a Research Associate at Harvard Business School, where she wrote case studies and contributed to two books on corporate strategy.
Ana Radelat is a longtime Washington correspondent who has covered politics and policy in the nation's capitol for dozens of newspapers, including USA Today, The Miami Herald, The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger, and Shreveport Times. Besides covering Capitol Hill, the federal agencies and the Supreme Court, Radelat has also written about foreign affairs, especially U.S. policy toward Latin America. She's a veteran political writer, covering campaigns and national party conventions since the mid-1980s. Radelat has also worked in broadcasting, as a writer for CNN’s anchor desk. As part of her coverage of the Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast, Radelat was first to report the health hazards posed by high levels of formaldehyde in trailers used as disaster housing. She's won several Associated Press prizes and her recent coverage of Congress' efforts to reform the nation's health care system has won awards. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s School of Journalism.
Deborah Elizabeth Finn lives to bring resources and needs together seamlessly in the non-profit sector, mostly through strategic use of information and communication technologies. She loves everything about her work except being an independent consultant, and would much rather be a cog in a machine. Her past and current clients include Capitol News Connection, Rhode Island Foundation, Third Sector New England, the Public Conversations Project, Changing The Present, Social Markets, Earth Track, the Food Project, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, Amity360, IDEAS Boston, the Data Collaborative, and the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. She is a founding member of the Information Systems Forum, the Ethos Roundtable, Mission-Based Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Nonprofit Technology Working Group, and the Boston Technobabes. She holds degrees from Bennington College and Harvard University, and her spare time she captions photographs for lolnptech.org, reads Victorian literature, listens to counter-reformation liturgical music, and indulges her compulsion to introduce everyone on the planet to everyone else.