Hello. I’m Paul Monies, a reporter covering state government based in Oklahoma City.

It’s been a busy year at the Capitol, with a new governor taking office and lots of issues making the headlines, including the state’s opioid lawsuit, criminal justice reform and the legislative session. At Oklahoma Watch, we keep an eye on the daily turns of those stories, but don’t rely on press releases or PR events for our coverage.

When I look back on 2019, the stories that were most interesting for me to report came from tips from whistleblowers, former employees or readers like you.

Oklahoma Watch reporter Paul Monies interviews Gov. Kevin Stitt at the State Capitol. Credit: Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

There was the story tip that led to our coverage of the murky lines between a state agency and a related nonprofit. And there was the tip that alerted us to the fact that a new gubernatorial appointment for one of the state’s largest trust funds didn’t meet the qualifications for the position and faced a string of lawsuits. A reader’s suggestion also led us to explore why child vaccinations, for so long an accepted part of public health, had become toxic issue among lawmakers at the Capitol.

In my two decades as a reporter, I’ve seen the news industry struggle with economic hardships and technological change. But the need for compelling, investigative reporting has only grown.

But we can’t do this without your help. As a nonprofit news site, we rely on generous donations, which this year are being matched through Dec. 31. Giving is easy.

We also want to hear from you about concerns or questions on state issues. If you have tips to share, feel free to email me at pmonies@oklahomawatch.org or give me a call or text at (571) 319-3289.

In the end, journalism is a collaborative effort.

–Paul Monies

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