Dean-Paul Stephens.
Dean-Paul Stephens.

As of today, Cardinal News has a reporter based in Martinsville — Dean-Paul Stephens.

We started in September 2021 with two full-time staff reporters – political reporter Markus Schmidt in Richmond (the only full-time journalist in the state capital year-round representing a news organization west of Richmond, as we like to say), and business reporter Megan Schnabel in Roanoke. In July 2022, we added Grace Mamon in Danville. In September, we added Susan Cameron in Bristol. We’ve also recently brought on a part-time copy editor and a full-time digital audience engagement editor. With Dean-Paul’s arrival, our reporting staff is now up to five and our total staff size is eight full-timers plus one part-timer.

Dean is a Jamaica-born reporter who grew up in North Carolina, where he covered communities throughout the state. Most recently he covered race and regional politics for the USA Today network. In Martinsville, he will spotlight an often-overlooked region of the state. 

Cardinal is able to add this reporting position thanks to a generous grant from the Harvest Foundation. In announcing the grant last fall, Harvest Foundation Program Officer DeWitt House said: “Since its launch in September 2021, Cardinal News consistently develops factual and unbiased news coverage that benefits our entire community. Cardinal News tells stories that matter, whether it’s in-depth coverage on population changes at a local level, or a spotlight on issues in Richmond (Virginia) and how they affect Martinsville-Henry County. High-quality journalism creates a well-informed community and allows decision-makers outside Martinsville-Henry County to create policies that positively affect our lives.”

Cardinal News is based on a public broadcasting model and is entirely supported by donors who have no say in news decisions: see our policy.

Cardinal is seeking multi-year commitments to support additional reporting positions to cover education, health, technology, the Roanoke and New River valleys, and Lynchburg. Cardinal News is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit. Here’s how to donate.

Yancey is editor of Cardinal News. His opinions are his own. You can reach him at