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:

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

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

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. McConnell regularly shares her stories with readers of the Springfield Daily Citizen. Contact her at: More by Kaitlyn McConnell

Mike O'Brien

Mike O’Brien is a longtime newspaper reporter, editor and columnist and is also a college journalism educator in Springfield. To suggest a person who might make a subject for Lives Remembered, email him at or More by Mike O’Brien

Kathleen O'Dell

Kathleen O'Dell

Kathleen O’Dell is a veteran journalist who has covered health care, business, education and investigative pieces throughout her career. She’s a St. Louis native and a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. In addition to working for a Texas newspaper, she was on the first staff of USA Today in Washington, D.C., and spent most of her newspaper career at the Springfield News-Leader. More by Kathleen O’Dell

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

Lyndal Scranton

Lyndal Scranton is a Springfield native who has covered sports in the Ozarks for more than 35 years, witnessing nearly every big sports moment in the region during the last 50 years. The Springfield Area Sports Hall of Famer and live-fire cooking enthusiast also serves as PR Director for Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri and is co-host of the Tailgate Guys BBQ Podcast. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @LyndalScranton. More by Lyndal Scranton

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 has been making photographs since his early teens. His career in photojournalism began in 1977 as a darkroom technician at the Burlington Free Press in Vermont. In 2015 he left USA Today, where he had been a senior photo editor in the Life department specializing in entertainment coverage for 18 years.
Jym moved to Springfield, MO in 2019 and is looking forward to telling stories to the readers of the Springfield Daily Citizen. Email: More by Jym Wilson