Sarah Elbeshbishi, Mountain State Spotlight's Environment and Energy Reporter.
Sarah Elbeshbishi, Mountain State Spotlight's Environment and Energy Reporter.

Mountain State Spotlight has hired reporter Sarah Elbeshbishi to expand its coverage of West Virginia’s environmental and energy issues. She started this week.

Prior to joining Mountain State Spotlight, she worked at USA TODAY for three years, first as a politics intern before joining as a general assignment reporter, then later as a politics reporter.

“Energy and the environment are two topics that are really one — they’re inextricably linked to each other, just as they’re woven into the fabric of West Virginia’s economy and society,” said Senior Editor and Co-Founder Ken Ward Jr. “We’re glad to have Sarah on board to doggedly pursue stories about the impacts that powerful energy industries have on our state’s environment, workers and communities.”

During her time at USA TODAY, Sarah covered issues including education, religion, health and politics. Most recently, she covered Congress, the 2022 midterms and the lead up to the 2024 presidential election through the lens of real-world impact on everyday Americans.

“We’re thrilled to have Sarah on board covering stories that profoundly impact the lives of West Virginians,” said Managing Editor Erica Peterson. “Her experience covering a breadth of topics will allow her to see the big picture in any story, and to convey that to readers to help them better understand the issues that affect them.”

Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public policy from the University of Maryland, College Park.