Founder / Editor-in-Chief
Having been disheartened and disillusioned by the perceived betrayal of the Obama administration following hundreds of hours dedicated to the candidate’s 2008 campaign for President, Sam early on began questioning the political system of the United States. Occupy Wall Street soon blossomed and he quickly became dedicated full-time to the various causes therein, running live-streaming and social media support for Occupy Minnesota and traveling on various assignments to protests nationwide including the Port Shutdown by Occupy Oakland, the RNC and DNC protests and more. In these endeavors, Sam has witnessed the power of new media technologies and citizen journalism, and the impact they can have on shaping the national dialogue. A firm belief of his is that the American people, when presented with non-ideologically driven information, generally make wise choices. That is part of what he hopes to bring to the North Star Post, to disseminate truly vital information to the People and do so as objectively as possible, without ideological or other spin. His first story as an independent journalist was the exposure of the entire fleet of government surveillance aircraft the so-called #FBISkySpies.
Editor / Producer of ‘ICYMI’
Jerod MacDonald-Evoy, 25, is a graduate from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in Phoenix, Arizona. Jerod covers breaking news and public safety for the Arizona Republic out of Phoenix and is an editor at the North Star Post. North Star Post founder Sam Richards inspired Jerod to report on the #FBISkySpies that were spotted over the Phoenix area and the two are currently working on follow up reporting regarding the FBI’s aviation surveillance program. Jerod has been featured in USA Today as well as other local and national publications and has been working as a documentary filmmaker in his spare time for the past 4 years with films showcasing across the globe on a variety of topics. Most recently his documentary film Stingray was nominated for a student production award at the Rocky Mountain Regional Emmys. Jerod was one of the first reporters to break the Robert Doggart story and continues to be one of the only journalists covering the case. His focus at the North Star Post is to cover national security issues such as the War on Terror, surveillance, and the Department of Defense and produce the weekly podcast called ICYMI.
Technology & Surveillance Reporter
Jason Hernandez has been working with encryption software, networks, and Free / Open Source Software since his teenage years. Jason works on learning and training staff on secure communications, surveillance / counter-surveillance techniques, and data analysis. Jason works in the technology industry in Arizona.
Foreign Policy Reporter
Paul Gottinger is a staff reporter at Reader Supported News. He covers the foreign policy of the United States as well as the arms industry for the North Star Post. These topics are more and more often intertwined and the consequences of this relationship are vast. Paul is a Minnesota native living in Chicago.
Aida Chavez, 19, is a journalism and political science student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix, Arizona. She is heavily interested in U.S. politics and government, international affairs, and will be focused mostly on social justice reporting for the Post. Aida speaks English, Spanish, French, and is currently studying Arabic as she hopes to someday cover Middle Eastern conflict.
According to Rich – “I am an ordinary citizen who cares about open government and privacy. I have worked on these issues at the Minnesota Legislature and elsewhere for over 30 years.” Rich is a data journalist extraordinaire, he has advised many activists, journalists and even elected officials on issues of data access, secrecy/transparency within government and more. His blog Open Secrets MN has been – at times the only – source of information on critical topics within the State of Minnesota and beyond.
Michael Eberhart has had a lifelong interest in politics, foreign policy, and investigative reporting. He currently studies Communication and Journalism at Virginia’s George Mason University. He previously served as an Infantryman in the US Army, and deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 and 2013 as part of a Company Intelligence Support Team.
Brandon Webb is alternative media journalist and freelance reporter who covers sports, science, technology, and politics. Brandon lives in British Columbia and will also be reporting on Canadian politics and life in general. He has started a podcast called “Locker Room Talk” which focuses on the NHL and the Vancouver Canucks.
Joseph, 21, is a student at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Joe is a contributor to Vavel, The Wake Magazine and covers sports for the North Star Post. A deep rooted passion for sports has driven Joe to gain experience covering teams such as the Minnesota Vikings, Timberwolves, Twins, and Gophers amongst others. As an active Twitter user, he enjoys discussing current sports issues and advising on topics such as weekly picks and fantasy football starting lineups. Although writing was his first love, Joe is pursuing opportunities in broadcast media.
Alexa is a photographer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. After initially designing posters for Occupy Minnesota in November 2011, she began working with the Minneapolis media team. This sparked her fascination with the ever-evolving power of social media technologies as a vehicle for independent, radical, and revolutionary mass communication. She captures images to connect people.
Sam Wagner has been documenting protest in Minnesota since the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement using a variety of mediums. Whether it be live-streaming video, live-tweeting or other methods, Sam is bound to be on the ground covering any and every event that has to do with popular struggle.
Taylor Griffin is a social media activist, multi-media artist, and mental health care worker. Taylor works hard to get the message of protestors broadcast and heard widely. Mainly focusing currently to cover the Black Lives Matter movement and related causes, she is present on the ground amongst those raising their voices.