Meet June Leffler, WVPB’s New Appalachia Health News Reporter
June Leffler, an award-winning public radio reporter, has joined the West Virginia Public Broadcasting news team as our new Appalachia Health News reporter, telling the story of our region’s health challenges and how we are working to overcome them.
Leffler, a Kentucky native, comes to WVPB from rural Alaska where she spent the last three years as a public radio reporter. She ran a one-woman newsroom at KSTK in Wrangell, Alaska, while also contributing to Alaska Public Media and stations throughout Southeast Alaska. Leffler has won excellence-in-journalism awards from the Alaska Broadcasting Association and the Alaska Press Club. At WVPB, she will cover topics such as women’s health, chronic disease and substance abuse, as well as document health-related innovation, improvement and success within Appalachia. Appalachia Health News is produced with support from Marshall Health and Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC).
WVPB News Director Andrea Billups said Leffler has a strong connection to the Appalachian region and understands its unique health challenges. "We are thrilled to have June join our award-winning team in Charleston. Health news is crucial to our state and region, and we know her thoughtful reporting will serve to not only inform our audiences but also help people who need solid information in this era."
Leffler graduated from the University of Louisville with a bachelor of arts in English and then earned a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Before moving to Alaska, she interned with the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.
Leffler grew up making DIY zines, which are noncommercial, often specialized publications devoted to specialized subject matter, after finding a stash of her mom’s publications in the basement. She spent her whole adolescence and early adult life creating these publications. The Kentucky Foundation for Women awarded her two grants to produce the Louisville-based youth arts zine, Goodwill Zine, which ran from 2009 to 2012.
"I’m grateful that West Virginia Public Broadcasting saw my potential and what I can offer," Leffler said.