The Minnesota Reformer is an independent, nonprofit news organization dedicated to keeping Minnesotans informed and unearthing stories other outlets can’t or won’t tell. We’re in the halls of government tracking what elected officials are up to — and monitoring the powerful forces trying to influence them. But we’re also on the streets, at the bars and parks, on farms and in warehouses, telling you stories of the people being affected by the actions of government and big business. And we’re free. No ads. No paywall. The Minnesota Reformer and its articles, graphics, and commentary are also free to republish. In fact, we welcome and encourage it. Please adhere to some simple guidelines, and let us know if you republish our stories.
The Reformer is excited to publish the work of independent journalists. All you need is a great idea and a passion for ethical, truthful storytelling. Here are the submission guidelines.
The Reformer also publishes guest commentaries about issues of interest to Minnesota. Here are our guidelines to publishing a guest commentary.
Minnesota Reformer is part of States Newsroom, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by grants and a coalition of donors and readers.
Minnesota Reformer retains editorial independence.
J. Patrick Coolican
J. Patrick Coolican is Editor-in-Chief of Minnesota Reformer. Previously, he was a Capitol reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for five years, after a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan and time at the Las Vegas Sun, Seattle Times and a few other stops along the way. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and toddler son.
Rilyn Eischens is a data reporter with the Reformer. Rilyn is a Minnesota native and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.
Senior Political Reporter
Ricardo Lopez is the senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.
Max Nesterak is Deputy Editor of the Reformer and reports on urban policy, economics and labor. Most recently he was associate producer for MPR’s Morning Edition after a stint at National Public Radio. He also co-founded the behavioralscientist.org and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.
Deena Winter has covered local and state government in four states over the past three decades, with stints at the Bismarck Tribune in North Dakota, as a correspondent for the Denver Post, city hall reporter in Lincoln, Nebraska, and regional editor for Southwest News in the western Minneapolis suburbs. Before joining the staff of the Reformer in 2021 she was a contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. She and her husband have a daughter, son, and very grand child. In her spare time, she likes to play tennis, jog, garden and attempt to check out all the best restaurants in the metro area.