ProPublica announced on Friday that Jessica Lussenhop will join its Midwest newsroom as a reporter covering issues in Minnesota, where she will be based. She starts on Nov. 30.
Lussenhop is currently a senior staff writer for BBC News, where she writes investigative stories about the U.S., with a focus on long-form narratives and criminal justice issues. In 2019, she profiled and examined the work of Lissa Yellowbird-Chase, an activist who has assisted in dozens of cases of missing Indigenous men and women. The story highlighted a growing community of amateur sleuths, most of them women, who say such cases are routinely underprioritized and not thoroughly investigated by authorities. This story, published in collaboration with High Country News, won the 2020 National Native Media Award for Best Online Feature.
Lussenhop also recently completed a fellowship with “This American Life,” where she assisted in producing weekly episodes. Among her powerful pieces was an exploration of sexual harassment in the housing sector.
Before joining BBC News, Lussenhop was a staff writer and managing editor for Riverfront Times in Missouri, where she revealed a lack of oversight by the state criminal justice system after it allowed a convicted man to walk free for 13 years. She also produced this story as a segment on “This American Life.” The investigation was recognized by the Missouri Press Association, where Lussenhop was awarded third place for Best News Feature. She also won first place for Best Sports Feature for a story about former inmates who gathered for competitive handball games. She covered the 2014 unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, among other major news events.
Lussenhop’s first stops in her reporting career were at the Santa Cruz Weekly and Metro Silicon Valley. She then joined City Pages in Minneapolis, where she focused on investigations. Her investigation into the standardized testing industry was recognized by the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists.
“We couldn’t be more excited to have Jessica join our Midwest team,” ProPublica Deputy Midwest Editor Steve Mills said. “Her deep knowledge of Minnesota and its issues will help us expand our coverage. Her keen sense for a good accountability story and her deft writing will serve our readers well.”
“I can't overstate how excited I am to be joining the ProPublica Midwest newsroom,” Lussenhop said. “It's an honor not only to be a part of this incredible organization, but also to help them expand their reach in a region that's so dear to my heart.”