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Coal Tattoo is a blog written for The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette by Ken Ward Jr. I got to know Ken while working for the Gazette and its publishing company, Charleston Newspapers, and greatly admire his reporting. The tenacity, passion and dedication he brings to his work are all in evidence in this blog, which he uses to supplement his coverage of West Virginia’s coal industry.

In a state famed for both mining and mountains, Ken’s subject matter can be contentious and controversial. What I especially like about Coal Tattoo is Ken’s approach to comments. He actively engages with commenters, answering questions and providing additional information. And he keeps his cool, even when others do not.

Read more about Ken in this profile by Brent Cunningham of Columbia Journalism Review (and a former reporter for the Charleston Daily Mail).