Photo credit: Alexus McLane. 

Photo credit: Alexus McLane. 

 

About

Lee V. Gaines is a Chicago-based independent journalist with a plethora of experience covering a multitude of subjects ranging from medical marijuana, to education, politics, the civil and criminal justice system, social justice and the city's vibrant underground arts and music scenes. Gaines specializes in journalistic investigations and storytelling at the intersection of culture, politics and the law. 

AWARDS AND HONORS

Named one of 20 creative influencers; VAM Studio, Chicago – 2017

Publick Occurrences Award; New England Newspaper & Press Association — Fall 2012

Resume

P U B L I C A T I O N S

Chicago Magazine; Chicago, IL— July 2017 - Present

Online and print magazine

The Marshall Project; New York, NY— June 2017 - Present

Non-profit news organization focused on the U.S. criminal justice system

Chicago Reader; Chicago, IL— December 2015 - Present

Alternative weekly newspaper and blog

Chicago Tribune Media Group; Chicago, IL— October 2013 - Present

Metro, TribLocal and Pioneer Press

Suburban Life Media; Downers Grove, IL — July 2013 - Present

Weekly Newspapers and Websites

R E L A T E D  E X P E R I E N C E

Freelance journalist; Chicago, IL – July 2013 - Present

  • Pitched and broke stories that generated tens of thousands of page views.

  • Reported on hundreds of breaking news stories typically turning around clean copy within a few hours.

  • Expertly covered protests, community meetings and local government controversies involving a range of subjects, including minimum wage laws, the Black Lives Matter movement and racial equity, LGBTQ issues, tax levies, school curriculum, Islamophobia, the Affordable Care Act, women's rights, medical marijuana and sexual violence.

  • Engaged in enterprise and investigative reporting, including a close examination of Chicago Police arrest data that revealed that 96% of people arrested in the city in 2016 for low-level marijuana possession were either black of Hispanic.

  • Developed a marijuana beat at the Chicago Reader and was one of the first reporters to break the news that state legislators had filed bills to legalize and tax recreational marijuana use and sales in Illinois.

News Curator, Inside.com; Culver City, CA – February 2014 - July 2014

  • Expertly used Twitter to find fascinating news stories for Inside.com readers.

  • Quickly and accurately summarized over six new stories per hour.

  • Created entertaining and informative GIFs for news consumers.

  • Actively communicated with team and company leaders; easily adjusted workflow and process to adapt to changing goals and performance measures.

Assistant Editor, The Wellesley Townsman/WickedLocal Wellesley; GateHouse Media

Needham, MA – October 2012 - May 2013

  • Copy and line edited the vast majority of stories and weekly content to deliver clean and engaging copy to readers.

  • Expertly managed content and proofed pages in various CMS systems.

  • Crafted award-winning editorial content.

  • Successfully carried out all reporting activities detailed below.

Staff Reporter, The Wellesley Townsman/WickedLocal Wellesley; GateHouse Media

Needham, MA – August 2011 – October 2012

  • Produced award-winning investigative content including an investigation of Wellesley Public Schools administrative practices.

  • Was the first reporter at GateHouse Media New England to report on the Boston Marathon Bombing.

  • Expertly reported on town meetings, board of education meetings, human interest features and police and fire news.

  • Shot and edited photos and videos for print and digital platforms.

  • Managed the publication's social media presence.

  • Assisted and trained interns.

S K I L L S

Proficient in the use of multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, Reddit, and multiple content management systems, including Saxotech and Zope, in addition to a working knowledge of HTML, Photoshop, Excel, G Suite, Microsoft Office, Powerpoint, Keynote and more.

A W AR D S + H O N O R S

Named one of 20 influencers in the city of Chicago; VAM Creative Studio — Spring 2017

Publick Occurrences Award; New England Newspaper & Press Association — Fall 2012

E D U C A T I O N

CLARK UNIVERSITY, Worcester, MA — May 2011

Bachelor of Arts, English

GPA: 3.7 - Magna Cum Laude