Online Newsroom

Desert Vortex News was founded to develop a sustainable nonprofit newsroom, promote editorial collaborations and insure wide distribution of the work.

Coachella Valley and hi-desert communities

Coachella Valley and hi-desert communities” credit=” 

Desert Vortex provides nonpartisan investigative and public service journalism producing original, multi-media longform and ongoing stories and analyses of public data to better inform the communities we serve. We cover the eastern territories of both Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

If you are interested in helping us please donate.

If you are interested in joining us, please contact us for an interview.


Society of Professional JournalistsDean M Gray; Senior Writer, webmaster and publisher.

In 2008 he founded, served as publisher and contributed investigative reports for the Desert Valley Star (in 2011 renamed Desert Star Weekly) This was an online plus weekly print tabloid distributed to over 800 locations in the Coachealla Valley of Riverside County as well as the hi-desert of San Bernardino County. Starting with zero readers Dean also created and maintained the news website and developed every facet of this publication business. After creating eight new jobs, finally in April, 2012 upon achieving a peak of approximately 20,000 combined newspaper and online weekly readers, he sold the business to Community Newspaper Group. 
In September of 2102 he launched Desert Vortex News, a nonprofit hyperlocal online investigative news website publishing investigative reports.

Online Newsroom

Pamela Berry, Research Assistant

Investigative Reporters and Editors

Dan O’Brien; East Hi-Desert beat – Twentynine Palms

Margo Sturges; West Hi-Desert beat – Yucca Valley

Michael Burke; Photographer, Videographer and Media Manager

If you need a private investigator we recommend Paul Tapia Investigator.

Written Contributions

Computer_keyboardWriters are encouraged to contribute materials for consideration of publication. Please read our Submission Policy. Also please review our Terms of UsePrivacy Policy and Code of Ethics.


Girl_with_computer_emerging_technologies_social_mediaThe Desert Vortex is primarily a Web-based news outlet, but we realize people get their news in different ways. That’s why we collaborate with print, television and radio outlets to reach as many people as possible, including those without broadband Internet service. We make our stories available to any publication. If you would like to publish a Desert Vortex story, please contact us.

Reprint Policy

Desert Vortex News encourages reprints of its articles and does not charge a fee. However, it does have the following rules.

1. Requests should be made in writing (email is acceptable) and include the following information: The headline and date of the article to be reprinted, the name and nature of the publication or web site in which it will be reprinted, the circulation of the publication in which it will be reprinted and the reason for the reprint.

2. Any reprint should carry this credit: “This article first appeared in Desert Vortex News, which can be found online at”

3. Any editing or trimming must be approved by Desert Vortex.

4. Desert Vortex holds only first rights to photos; arrangements for reprints must be made with the photographer.

5. A tear sheet or web link must be provided to Desert Vortex once the article/articles have been reprinted.

6. Associate Editor Carson Parlan is the contact for all reprinting requests, questions or concerns.

Comment Policy

Desert Vortex encourages our readers to leave comments and participate in dialogue on our stories. In doing so, please follow our “rules of the road” and keep the conversation civil and constructive.

Be open. We don’t require that you use your real name to post a comment. We understand the occasional desire for anonymity, given the politics of our desert communities. But we encourage you to identify yourself and provide your affiliation. Doing so adds legitimacy to your comments and viewpoint.

No profanity or vulgarity. Comments will be deleted if they include obscene language, sexual innuendo, or attacks based on race, ethnicity, religion, disability status, gender or sexual orientation.

No personal attacks. Differences of opinion are par for the course and healthy debate is encouraged. However, comments that go beyond disagreement with another’s viewpoint, or with our reporting, to include personal attacks, will be removed. Comments that are potentially defamatory or libelous of another person will also be removed.

No posting of commercial or obscene material. Do not post material that solicits for funds, goods, or services, or is obscene or pornographic. Do not post links to such material.

Good writing helps your message. Please don’t write IN ALL CAPS. Online, it detracts from the substance of your comment. Correct grammar and proper spelling are appreciated.


We don’t have any full-time jobs available now, but we will soon. However, we do work with freelancers on stories related to our coverage areas: criminal justice, environment and land use, schools, health and politics and government. If you have a story idea, please email with your pitch, how you plan to report it, and a few samples of your previous published work.


The Desert Vortex offers internships for-credit that may be available with the following educational institutions and business colleges:

1. College of the Desert

2. University of California, Riverside

3. Santa Barbara Business College

5. Riverside County Department of Education

6. Any other qualified educational institution

It is the responsibility of students to coordinate documentation with the school proving that credit will be received. Interns perform a variety of duties, including but not limited to:

– Shadowing reporters on assignment
– Attending public meetings, completing live social networking broadcasts
– Editing copy
– Reporting/writing stories

Please send resume, cover letter, and 4-6 clips to

For article contribution or news tips email or contact us

Member Desert Hot Springs Merchants Association