I would like to create a filter that displays the reporter (and assignee) as the username, not the fullname. Is that possible to do? Do I need to create a custom field like "reporter username" to do this?
Yes, I think you have answered your own question. JQL does not allow you to process the fields it returns. You need a custom field for "reporter username" and "assignee username" and set those on creation for reporter and on update for assignee. You can then perform your query and put those fields into the list of displayed fields.
Does Atlassian monitor these Q&A? I cannot imagine they have the resources for that but this request seems like a work around for a deficiency in JIRA. You should be able to view the data that JIRA is tracking. Crazy that the tool tracks the information but doesn't give you a way to view it.
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