Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting Chosen to Join ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network

The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting (KyCIR) will be one of 20 newsrooms selected to participate in ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network project this year, and one of six announced today.

KyCIR was selected from nearly 140 applications from local newsrooms around the country to join the Local Reporting Network.

“KyCIR is thrilled for the chance to work with ProPublica and devote significant resources to a project with the potential to highlight problems that affect Kentuckians and spur meaningful change,” said KyCIR Managing Editor Kate Howard.

The lead reporter on the ProPublica collaboration will be R.G. Dunlop, an award-winning investigative reporter whose work has exposed government corruption and resulted in numerous reforms. ProPublica will reimburse Dunlop’s salary for the next year as he works on the project.

Dunlop won a Peabody Award last year for “The Pope’s Long Con,” a five-part investigation and podcast. He is a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and was twice a member of teams that won George Polk Awards while a reporter at the Courier Journal. He has been with KyCIR since its founding in 2013.

Dunlop will continue to work in KyCIR’s newsroom, but ProPublica will offer extensive guidance and support on reporting and editing, engagement and data analysis. The work will be published by ProPublica simultaneously to its broadcast on 89.3 WFPL and published on KyCIR.org.

KyCIR’s project will be overseen by Zahira Torres, an editor from the Local Reporting Network. Before ProPublica, she was editor of the El Paso Times and enterprise editor for USA Today Network’s Texas/New Mexico newspapers. During her tenure, Torres was part of a team that developed and edited “The Wall: Untold Stories, Unintended Consequences,” which won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.

“I am excited to work with these newsrooms to realize their ambitious visions for local journalism,” Torres said. “We reviewed a highly competitive field of applications and we’re delighted to work on this diverse range of important projects.”

ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force.  It was founded in 2007-2008 with the belief that investigative journalism is critical to our democracy.  Since they began publishing in 2008, ProPublica has received five Pulitzer Prizes, seven George Polk Awards, four Peabody Awards, an Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award, two Emmy Awards, four Online Journalism Awards for General Excellence and a National Magazine Award among others.

The ProPublica Local Reporting Network kicked off in January 2018 with projects at seven news organizations across the country. The program expanded to 14 newsrooms this January and, with the addition of these six projects, will reach 20.

Other newsrooms recently awarded grants from ProPublica through the Local Reporting Network include Courier Journal, WNYC, the Charleston Gazette-Mail and the New Orleans Times-Picayune.