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ProPublica Hires Steve Suo to Lead Pacific Northwest Coverage

ProPublica announced on Wednesday that Steve Suo will serve as editor for its new Northwest regional newsroom. Covering Washington, Idaho, Alaska and Oregon, the investigative team will be ProPublica’s fifth hub in a growing network of regional and state-based offices.

Suo joins ProPublica from USA Today, where he has served as a data editor since 2020. His team used precision social science techniques to analyze the polarization of congressional tweets; expose the scope and causes of failed adoptions; and reveal a nursing home chain’s lagging track record of keeping people alive during COVID-19’s peak.

Prior to USA Today, Suo was a reporter and editor for the Oregonian/Oregon Live, where he led the investigations and data team. Work by the investigations team prompted National Guard leaders to close and clean out lead-contaminated armories and helped spur a state constitutional amendment that allowed limits on campaign contributions. As the original editor of Data Hub, Suo’s team created online visualizations, high-utility databases and data-driven stories including “Unsettling Dust,” which found hundreds of homes in Portland torn down without proper asbestos abatement and paved the way for a new citywide inspection ordinance. In 2005, Suo was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in national news for a series on methamphetamine that helped change national and international drug policy.

“Steve is the perfect editor to lead our Northwest team,” said Charles Ornstein, ProPublica’s managing editor, local. “His knowledge of the region and his skill in reporting and editing consequential projects positions him to lead our team.”

“I’m honored to join ProPublica’s incredibly talented staff of reporters and editors,” Suo said. “I’m looking forward to this unique opportunity to grow ProPublica's already strong presence in a region that I know and love.”

Suo is based in Oregon. He will hire three ProPublica reporters and work with three Local Reporting Network Distinguished Fellows: Kyle Hopkins at the Anchorage Daily News, Lulu Ramadan at the Seattle Times and Tony Schick at Oregon Public Broadcasting. He will start May 8.

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