ProPublica announced on Monday that it had hired George Papajohn as a senior editor. Papajohn will help edit projects from the national newsroom and ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network. He starts on Aug. 16.
Papajohn comes to ProPublica from BuzzFeed News, where he served as an investigative editor. At BuzzFeed, Papajohn helped edit the FinCEN Files series that exposed how Western banks profit from terror and organized crime in plain view of U.S. authorities. The project was a finalist for the Selden Ring Award and a Pulitzer Prize.
Previously, Papajohn was associate managing editor for investigations at the Chicago Tribune, where he expanded the paper’s projects office into a watchdog department, overseeing a dozen or more reporters. Papajohn directed the Tribune’s Hidden Hazards project — with Patricia Callahan, now of ProPublica, as lead reporter — which won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 2008. He also oversaw eight projects that were Pulitzer finalists between 2007 and 2018, including five in the investigative category. Papajohn was an editor on The Tax Divide series, in partnership with ProPublica Illinois, which was a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer for local reporting. He also collaborated on The Quiet Rooms, another joint investigation with ProPublica Illinois.
Papajohn has taught investigative journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
“George’s extensive work in investigations and collaborative approach to producing hard-hitting journalism makes him a great fit for our newsroom,” ProPublica Managing Editor Robin Fields said. “We’re thrilled to have him.”
“Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with ProPublica journalists on a variety of important investigations, work that has brought about significant reforms,” said Papajohn. “I’m proud to be able to join this incredibly talented and ambitious staff.”