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WNIJ welcomes new social justice and community reporters

May 12, 2020

WNIJ is thrilled to announce the addition of two new reporters to their news team: Yvonne Boose and Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco. Community reporter Yvonne Boose will cover artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. Social justice reporter Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco will cover substandard housing and police-community relations.

Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco

Boose and Ramirez-Franco come to WNIJ as part of the 2020 Report for America reporting corp. Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. It is an initiative of the nonprofit news organization The GroundTruth Project. 

Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world. As a community reporter, she will cover how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their lives individually and within the context of their larger communities.

Yvonne Boose

Ramirez-Franco is an audio producer and journalist who has also been a bilingual facilitator at the StoryCorps office in Chicago. As a civic reporting fellow at City Bureau, a non-profit news organization that focuses on Chicago’s South Side, Ramirez-Franco produced print and audio stories about the Pilsen neighborhood. Ramirez-Franco grew up in northern Illinois and is a graduate of Knox College.

Boose and Ramirez-Franco are among 225 journalists chosen for this year’s Report for America corps as part of a highly selective national competition that drew more than 1,800 applications. WNIJ is one of 162 newsrooms selected to participate in the program, also as part of a national competition. To win, news organizations described an urgent gap in coverage and a plan to deploy a Report for America journalist to address that gap.

WNIJ 89.5 FM is a non-commercial public broadcasting radio station managed by Northern Public Radio, the broadcast arm of Northern Illinois University in the Division of Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development. It provides independent, local, national and international news. Learn more at