Gary Harki, The Virginian-Pilot
Gary Harki is an investigative reporter at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia. Prior to this position, he worked at The Exponent-Telegram in mountainous north-central West Virginia, where he covered the story of 12 miners trapped in the Sago mine after an explosion. All but one of the workers died. That story launched him into his successful investigative reporting career. In 2009, while working at The Charleston Gazette in West Virginia, Harki was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for his investigation into police brutality and corruption. He was named Virginia Press Association Outstanding Journalist of the Year in 2017.
Andy Soth, Wisconsin Public Television
Andy Soth is a longtime producer of public affairs coverage at Wisconsin Public Television. He was part of a civic journalism documentary reporting as part of two national PBS election series. One episode of the series, “The :30 Second Candidate,” earned a national Emmy award. He also authored the program’s companion web site for pbs.org and led the creation at WPT of WisconsinVote.org, a site that’s helped hundreds of thousands connect to election news and voter resources. He later became WPT’s correspondent for QUEST, the multi-media science reporting project run by KQED, San Francisco’s public station. Now he’s mainly a producer for the “Wisconsin Life” program, a joint production of Wisconsin Public Television and Radio.
Eben Pindyck, Independent Journalist
As a freelance writer, Eben Pindyck has published stories in both local and national outlets including: The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Vice, Milwaukee Magazine, Gray’s Sporting Journal, and The Oregonian, among others.
His interests are eclectic, his approach consistent in its depth.
“Eben has a deep commitment to learn everything he can about the most thorny issues of the day, where race and class and crime meet. He resists easy answers,” notes Dan Simmons, former managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine.
After attending high school in the Milwaukee area, Eben earned degrees in English and Journalism from Columbia University, as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Portland State University.
Erin Richards, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Erin Richards is an education reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The St. Louis native sees education reporting as “a window into what was moving the state forward and simultaneously holding it back.” As a Spencer Fellow in Education Reporting at Columbia University in 2015, she explored the history and future of the nation's private-school choice movement. It capped a seven-year period in which she covered education and education policy for the Journal Sentinel, including the aftermath of Gov. Scott Walker’s push to end most collective bargaining by teachers and other public workers. She also has experience as an adjunct instructor in journalism at Carroll University and was a Livingston Award finalist in 2009.
Jackie Crosby, Star Tribune
Jackie Crosby is a business reporter at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, where she writes about the impact that aging baby boomers and rising millennials are having on the economy, health care system and workplace. She has won numerous state, regional and national awards for her work. As a young sports reporter at the Macon Telegraph in Georgia, she co-authored a series on athletics and academics that was awarded the 1985 Pulitzer Prize in specialized reporting. A seventh-generation Floridian, she has somehow figured out how to thrive in frigid Minnesota.
Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Mark Johnson is a health and science reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He was part of a team that won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in explanatory reporting for a series of reports on the use of genetic technology to save a 4-year-old boy imperiled by a mysterious disease. In 2003 and 2006, Johnson was part of Journal Sentinel teams that were finalists for the Pulitzer in explanatory reporting; in 2014, he was a finalist for the prize in feature writing in 2014. He previously worked for The Providence Journal in Rhode Island, as well as three other newspapers.
Maria Perez, Naples Daily News
Maria Perez is a minority affairs reporter for the Naples Daily News in southwest Florida. A native of Spain, she earned a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York in 2013, and has also covered general assignments at El Nuevo Herald in Miami, the most influential Spanish-speaking newspaper in the hemisphere. Perez is a former arts section reporter at El Mundo in Madrid, the second-largest daily newspaper in Spain.
Justin George, The Baltimore Sun
Justin George has been a crime reporter at The Baltimore Sun since 2012, a role leading to him to contribute to the first series of the popular podcast “Serial.” During the Freddie Gray investigation and subsequent Baltimore riots in April 2015, he reported from inside the police department's headquarters. George grew up in Littleton, Colo., and attended Columbine High School before graduating from the University of Colorado. Before The Sun, George worked at the Tampa Bay Times, where he covered Hurricane Katrina and investigated sex abuse at a group home.
Liz Navratil, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Liz Navratil covers the Pittsburgh and Allegheny County police departments for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The University of Pittsburgh graduate helped to expose allegations that the city’s police chief and others in a bureau diverted money from the department into an off-the-books account for personal use. The police chief was forced to resign and sentenced to prison; the reporting earned accolades from Investigative Reporters & Editors. Navratil also helped to reveal flaws to a police response to a woman’s 911 call the night she was killed.
Dave Umhoefer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Dave Umhoefer is an investigative reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for a six-month investigation of Milwaukee County’s pension system; his stories exposed a corrupt, illegal scheme in which more than 350 employees had increased their pensions by a collective $50 million. The University of Wisconsin–Madison graduate is also a reporter for the Journal Sentinel’s PolitiFact Wisconsin team and an adjunct instructor teaching investigative journalism to students at Marquette.
Miranda Spivack, Independent Journalist
Miranda Spivack specializes in accountability journalism and writes for The Washington Post and various print and online magazines. Between 1998 and 2013, she worked as an editor and reporter at The Post. Her reporting and editing led to changes in the way government conducts its work, including regulation and oversight of development, campaign finance, the environment and public safety. Spivack previously served as a deputy editor for The Gazette Newspapers, a Post subsidiary, and is also a former Washington correspondent for The Hartford Courant.
Brandon Loomis, The Arizona Republic
Brandon Loomis has been an environmental reporter at The Arizona Republic in Phoenix since November 2012; he previously worked at other news outlets including the Salt Lake Tribune, Anchorage Daily News and Idaho Falls Post Register. Loomis won the 2012 Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment and the 2013 Best of the West Prize for Growth and Environmental Reporting. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska and was a 1993-94 Ted Scripps Graduate Fellow at the University of Michigan.
Raquel Rutledge, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Raquel Rutledge is an investigative reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who previously reported at The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Christian Science Monitor. Rutledge won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting for “Cashing In on Kids,” related to Wisconsin’s subsidized day care program; she has also earned other major investigative honors as the Gerald Loeb, Worth Bingham, George Polk and Goldsmith awards. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and was a 2012 Neiman Fellow at Harvard University.
Marjorie Valbrun, Independent Journalist
Marjorie Valbrun has worked for The Baltimore Sun, The Wall Street Journal and The Philadelphia Inquirer and her work has appeared frequently in The Washington Post. Valbrun spent a year reporting on the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. She has won awards for international reporting and feature and editorial writing. She has degrees from Long Island University and Columbia University and has taught journalism at Howard University. She is a former Neiman Fellow at Harvard University and a past Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellow.
Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times
Hal Bernton has been a reporter with The Seattle Times since 2000. He received the Gerald R. Ford Prize for national defense reporting in 2013 and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2003 for his work with other Seattle Times reporters on “The Terrorist Within.” In 1989, he was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for “People in Peril,” a series published by The Anchorage Daily News about Alaska’s native peoples.
Dan Egan, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Dan Egan has been covering the Great Lakes for The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel since 2003. He was a Pulitzer finalist for explanatory reporting in both 2013 and 2010. Egan won the Oakes Award for environmental journalism in 2006 and has received four National Headliner Awards for environmental and science reporting.
Lillian Thomas, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Lillian Thomas is assistant managing editor of special projects at The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Since late 2012, her investigative team has broken dozens of stories about a federal investigation of the city of Pittsburgh that led to charges against the police chief, who resigned, and now has begun to focus on the city’s mayor. Thomas has also been a reporter, city editor and Sunday editor for The Post-Gazette.
Meg Kissinger, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Meg Kissinger is an investigative reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel who has written extensively about the failures of the mental health system in Milwaukee County since 2000. Kissinger was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2009 and has earned several other honors for her reporting, including from the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. Her O’Brien Fellowship led to “Chronic Crisis: A System That Doesn’t Heal,” a series that earned the 2013 George Polk for Medical Writing. She is a graduate of DePauw University.