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ProPublica and Texas Tribune Add Five Journalists to Joint Reporting Unit

ProPublica and The Texas Tribune announced today five additional hires for the news organizations’ jointly operated investigative reporting unit. Kiah Collier, Vianna Davila, Lomi Kriel, Jeremy Schwartz and Perla Trevizo are joining as reporters. Manny García was announced in January as senior editor of the initiative. The reporters are on the staff of ProPublica and most will be based in the Tribune’s Austin newsroom, with their work powering the platforms of both organizations.

“We have a dream team of reporters,” García said. “They are smart, authentic, fearless truth-tellers, with a deep love and understanding of Texas. I could not be prouder than to stand alongside Kiah, Vianna, Lomi, Jeremy and Perla on this journey. If you are doing bad things in Texas, well, you'll be hearing from us.”

Kiah Collier has been a Tribune reporter and associate editor since 2015, covering energy and environment through the lens of state government and politics. She was a reporter on “Hell and High Water,” a Peabody Award–winning collaboration between ProPublica and the Tribune that explored the vulnerability of the Houston area to a large, devastating hurricane. Collier previously worked at the Austin American-Statesman and the Houston Chronicle covering state and local government. In addition to the Peabody Award, she has been honored with the Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism, the National Edward R. Murrow Award for best investigation, and the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award.

Vianna Davila is the editor of The Seattle Times’ Project Homeless initiative, which examines the causes and effects of homelessness in the Seattle region. She began with the project when it launched in fall 2017 as a reporter, before becoming editor in 2019. The team's work has been honored by the Solutions Journalism Network and the National Headliner Awards. She previously reported for the San Antonio Express-News, where over 13 years she covered city politics, regional transportation and criminal justice, in addition to producing online videos. She was named the newspaper's Reporter of the Year in 2013. Her six-part project “The Next Million” explored gentrification, affordable housing, changing demographics and other urban issues in San Antonio, winning the Best of the West 2017 Journalism Contest for online presentation.

Lomi Kriel has been a reporter at the Houston Chronicle since 2014 covering immigration, often focused on the Texas border. Six months before the family separation policy was announced, Kriel uncovered how the Trump administration secretly used prosecution of illegal entry to detain parents until deportation and send children to federal shelters, with her stories resulting in the release of one mother. She has also worked as a Central American correspondent for Thomson Reuters and a criminal justice reporter for the San Antonio Express-News. She won this year’s George Polk Award for national reporting for her immigration coverage. Born and raised in South Africa, Kriel immigrated to Houston in 1998.

Jeremy Schwartz has been an investigative reporter in Texas for nearly a decade, covering issues including voting rights and border security for the Austin American-Statesman and USA Today Network. His work has resulted in the overhaul of Texas' inspection process for farmworker housing, sparked Congressional investigations of a failed Department of Veterans Affairs research program and uncovered misleading border arrest and drug seizure statistics maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Schwartz has won the National Association of Hispanic Journalists' Latino Issues award for his 2017 investigation into the political underrepresentation of Latinos in Texas cities and counties, and the Headliners Foundation of Texas Reporter of the Year award, among other honors. He previously served as Cox Newspapers' Latin America correspondent in Mexico City from 2005 to 2009, and before that, he covered the U.S. Border Patrol and immigration at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

Perla Trevizo is a Mexican-American reporter born in Ciudad Juárez and raised across the border in El Paso, Texas, where she began her journalism career. Trevizo spent more than 10 years covering immigration and border issues in Tennessee and Arizona before joining the Houston Chronicle as an environmental reporter. She has written from nearly a dozen countries, from African refugee camps to remote Guatemalan villages, with the goal of broadening readers’ understanding of the global issues that impact the local communities where she has worked. Her work has earned her national and state awards including the Dori J. Maynard Award for Diversity in Journalism, French-American Foundation Immigration Journalism Award, and a national Edward R. Murrow for a story done in collaboration with Arizona Public Media. She was also honored as the 2019 Arizona Journalist of the Year by the Arizona Newspaper Association.

About ProPublica

ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. 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. Its local initiatives include ProPublica Illinois, a 12-person newsroom based in Chicago, and the ProPublica Local Reporting Network, which funds and jointly publishes year-long projects, currently with 21 local news organizations around the country. Since it began publishing in 2008, ProPublica has received five Pulitzer Prizes, five Peabody Awards, three Emmy Awards, eight George Polk Awards and five Online News Association Awards for general excellence.

About The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune is an independent, nonprofit newsroom dedicated to engaging and informing Texans on politics, public policy and matters of statewide concern. It is read by nearly 2 million people each month, hosts more than 50 editorial events around Texas each year and has more journalists covering state government than any newsroom in the country. To further its pursuit of statewide engagement, the award-winning Tribune provides all of its content for free to print, radio and television news organizations throughout the state of Texas.

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