In addition to staff members involved in the news operation, the Daily Citizen has created a network of well-known local writers, photographers and other content creators to round out coverage. Learn about them here:

Drew Albert

Drew Albert is a graduate of North Carolina State University and is now a recently (mostly) retired operational meteorologist with 35+ years of experience. Most of that time has been with the National Weather Service in Springfield. Drew can be reached at More by Drew Albert

David Burton

David Burton has served as a County Engagement Specialist with University of Missouri Extension for over 20 years. To learn more about his “Engaged Neighbor” program, go online to or contact him by email or telephone at (417) 881-8909. More by David Burton

Paul Cecchini

Paul Cecchini is a freelance writer, aspiring author and award-winning former editor of the Mansfield Mirror newspaper (the Missouri one, not the Texas one). His writing mantra is that everyone has a story, and he’s always on the lookout for the next one to tell. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook @peachykeeny or view a sampling of his published work at More by Paul Cecchini

Mary Ellen Chiles

Mary Ellen Chiles is a freelance photographer and writer based in the Ozarks. She graduated from Missouri State University with a bachelor's in creative writing and a master's in English, Creative Nonfiction Writing. More by Mary Ellen Chiles

Dean Curtis

Dean Curtis has more than 35 years of experience as a photojournalist, 22 of those years as the Photo Editor of the Springfield News-Leader directing the visual coverage of the area. In 2015, Curtis was inducted into the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame. He started Curtis Photography LLC in 2014 and specializes in editorial, commercial and family photography. His work can be found at: In his spare time he pursues his love of photographing the wild horses of Shannon County. Email: More by Dean Curtis

Juliana Goodwin

Juliana Goodwin is a freelance journalist with experience covering business, travel and tourism, health, food and history. She is a former Food and Travel Columnist for the Springfield News-Leader, a former business reporter for The Joplin Globe, and has written for USA Today and Arkansas Living Magazine, among others. More by Juliana Goodwin

Julie Higgins

Julie G. Higgins is a Springfield entrepreneur and a partner in Higgins Business Consulting. Her mantra is: “Teach with your life.” Follow her on Twitter: @julieGhiggins or email her at: More by Julie Higgins

Sony Hocklander

Sony Hocklander is a freelance journalist, video storyteller and photographer who produces creative content through her small solo business, Sony Hocklander Creative LLC. When she's not telling community stories, she loves wandering the Ozarks outdoors with a camera in hand. You can follow her on Twitter @SonyHocklander and on Instagram @shocklander or email her at: More by Sony Hocklander

Paul Kincaid

Paul Kincaid, an Independent, lives in Springfield. He spent 39 years in higher education public relations and governmental relations, and served as Chief of Staff to three University Presidents. The final 28 years were at Missouri State University. After retiring from Missouri State in 2014, he served eight years as Executive Director of Jobs for America’s Graduates-Missouri. He owns and operates his consulting company, Kincaid Communications, LLC. Email: More by Paul Kincaid

Kaitlyn McConnell

Kaitlyn McConnell is the founder of Ozarks Alive, a cultural preservation project through which she has documented the region's people, places and defining features since 2015. Contact her at: More by Kaitlyn McConnell

Mike O'Brien

Mike O'Brien is a longtime newspaper reporter, editor and columnist who had a long career at the Springfield News-Leader. He also is a college journalism educator in Springfield and has produced the Lives Remembered series of feature obituaries for the Daily Citizen. Email him at More by Mike O'Brien

Francine Pratt

Francine Micheline Pratt serves as director of Prosper Springfield, a community collective impact model charged with oversight of community goals to reduce the poverty rate and increase postsecondary educational attainment. She is president of Pratt Consultants LLC, which focuses on community engagement, business infrastructure development, conflict resolution, strategic planning, and diversity training. She also is a creative partner for the Queen City Soul Kitchen restaurant. Email: More by Francine Pratt

Susan Atteberry Smith

Susan Atteberry Smith is a Dallas County native, a former college writing instructor and a former Springfield News-Leader reporter. Smith writes freelance pieces for several publications, including Missouri Life Magazine, Biz 417 and Missouri State University alumni publications. More by Susan Atteberry Smith

Bruce Stidham

Born in Bolton, England, Bruce Stidham began working as a photojournalist in 1997 while attending Blackburn College in Lancashire. He has worked internationally for many companies and news agencies, including: Disney, Nike, The Smithsonian Institute, Bloomberg News, The Associated Press, and Agence France Press. Bruce is also a licensed FAA Drone pilot which he uses for both photo and video production. He has called the Ozarks his home since 1999 and is the 6th generation of his family to live in Springfield. Website: and Instagram: @stidzmedia More by Bruce Stidham

Jym Wilson

Jym Wilson is a veteran photojournalist who has covered a multitude of topics throughout his career. He’s a Vermont native who began his career at the Burlington (VT) Free Press. He worked as a photo editor at USA Today for 18 years, specializing in entertainment coverage. His work has appeared in the Hauxeda since the day of its launch in 2022.
Email: More by Jym Wilson