Star-Advertiser staffers chosen for investigative projects
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and two of its reporters have been selected to participate in the ProPublica Local Reporting Network, collaborating over the next year on investigative journalism projects in Hawaii.
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The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and two of its reporters have been selected to participate in the ProPublica Local Reporting Network, collaborating over the next year
on investigative journalism projects in Hawaii.
Rob Perez and Sophie Cocke are among 13 reporters chosen nationally for the program, which is in its third year and supports accountability journalism at local news organizations. Perez is one of the seven journalists whose work will focus on state government, while Cocke is among the six journalists selected to report on a broad range of subjects.
ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom based in New York that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.
“We are honored and pleased to be partnering with ProPublica, which has gained an enviable reputation for its investigative reporting projects,” said Dennis Francis, publisher of the Star-Advertiser. “Its experience and
expertise will provide solid support for projects by
Perez and Cocke.”
The impact of ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network has been extraordinary since its formation in January 2018.
In Indiana last year, the South Bend Tribune reported on how police officers in Elkhart beat a handcuffed man and how the police chief promoted officers despite records of discipline. As a result of those articles, the police chief was forced to resign, an independent investigation was launched and the officers involved in the beating were criminally charged. The mayor of Elkhart also abandoned his reelection effort.
Also, The Anchorage Daily News found that one in three communities in Alaska had no local law enforcement: no state troopers to stop an active shooter, no village police officers to break up family fights, not even untrained city or tribal cops to patrol the streets. Following that coverage, U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr visited Alaska and later declared a state of emergency, releasing millions in federal funds to devote to the problem.
The state government-
based projects for 2020 will come from Perez and media organizations and journalists in six states, while the selected newsrooms and reporters in addition to Cocke for the general subject Local Reporting Network are based in five states. Taken together, the projects will cover states from New Jersey to Alaska.
Participating reporters collaborate with ProPublica senior editors as they embark on investigations within their communities. ProPublica reimburses one year’s salary and benefits for each of the participating reporters and also supports projects with its expertise in data, research and engagement elements of the work.
“It’s heartening to see so many news organizations that want to dig into serious issues in their local communities,” said Charles Ornstein, ProPublica deputy managing editor. “We’re excited to give them the time, resources and support to do just that. At a time of cutbacks in our industry, we need more accountability
reporting, not less.”
With a team of more than 100 dedicated journalists, ProPublica covers a range of topics, focusing on stories with the potential to spur
real-world impact. Since it began publishing in 2008, ProPublica has received five Pulitzer Prizes, five Peabody Awards, three Emmy Awards, seven George Polk Awards and five Online News Association Awards for