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ProPublica Hires Dan Petty as Director of Audience Strategy

ProPublica has hired Dan Petty as director of audience strategy. In this role, Petty will help drive the growth of ProPublica’s audience and ensure maximum visibility for the newsroom’s journalism in the places where it can make an impact. He will start on Feb. 25.

Petty is currently the digital director of audience and engagement at MediaNews Group, where he works closely with newsrooms across the country to develop content, newsletter and social strategy to build engaged, local audiences across digital platforms. Before joining MediaNews Group, Petty was senior editor of breaking news at The Denver Post, where he led a team of editors and reporters responsible for publishing breaking news and trending stories. He also held other roles at the Post, including director of audience development, digital director of sports and social media editor. As the social media editor, Petty was part of the team that won a Pulitzer in 2013 for their coverage of the Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting.

Petty also has served as an independent media consultant, helping digital news organizations develop a strategy for improving sustainability, audience growth and engagement. Past clients include the U.S. Department of State and the International Center for Journalists. He is a trainer with the Society of Professional Journalists, where he teaches journalists how to use digital tools for data journalism. From 2018-20, Petty was president of The Denver Press Club, and he has served, since last year, as the president of the board of the Colorado Press Association.

Petty is enrolled in an executive MBA program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

“Dan shares our goal to have our accountability journalism reach those who can take action based on it and the communities affected by it,” said Charles Ornstein, managing editor, local. “People face many choices in the news they read, and I’m thrilled for Dan to help extend our reach.”

“I’m excited to join ProPublica and its audience team to help the organization’s journalism reach more people and ensure its impact is felt even more in the communities it serves,” said Petty. “ProPublica’s journalists consistently deliver in-depth, meaningful work I’ve long admired, and I can’t wait to get started.”

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