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ProPublica Hires Three New Reporters to Join National Staff

ProPublica announced Tuesday that three reporters will be joining its national team: Corey Johnson, Andy Kroll and Brett Murphy.

Corey Johnson joins ProPublica from the Tampa Bay Times, where he worked for five years as an investigative reporter. His project “Poisoned” revealed how Florida’s only lead smelter endangered hundreds of workers and polluted the surrounding community. The series won the George Polk Award and the IRE Gold Medal. Some of his other investigations at the Times exposed dangerous amounts of lead in the drinking water of Florida schools and prompted the FBI to investigate a local religious leader. Before the Times, Johnson was a reporter at The Marshall Project, where an investigation he co-reported on the harsh sentencing of juveniles led to the release of a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, man who had been imprisoned for life as a teenager.

Before that, at the Center for Investigative Reporting, Johnson uncovered hundreds of illegal and coercive sterilization surgeries inside California’s prisons for women. The revelations spurred state hearings, investigations, a law banning future procedures and, most recently, a reparations program. He also led an investigation into systemic weaknesses in earthquake protections at California public schools that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won the IRE Gold Medal, the Scripps Howard Award for Public Service and the Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism. Johnson is a co-founder of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting. He starts on May 16.

Andy Kroll comes to ProPublica from Rolling Stone, where he was the Washington bureau chief, and he will investigate efforts to undermine the power of the ballot and American democracy. His reporting for the magazine about a series of cyberattacks on congressional campaigns led to the indictment of a California political operative. Kroll was previously a senior reporter at Mother Jones, where his work on self-dealing during the Trump presidency sparked multiple congressional investigations. Earlier in his career, his investigation of a powerful law firm that profited from pushing borrowers out of their homes helped shut down the foreclosure mill and spurred Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to cut ties with similar foreclosure law firms across the country.

Kroll has written for National Journal and The California Sunday Magazine, where he also focused his reporting on the nexus of politics, money, power and democracy. In September, Kroll will publish his first book, “A Death on W Street: The Murder of Seth Rich and the Age of Conspiracy.” Kroll, who lives in Washington, starts on May 2.

Brett Murphy comes to ProPublica from USA Today’s investigations team, where for the past five years he has reported some of the paper’s most ambitious projects. His story on widespread labor abuses in California’s port trucking industry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and spurred a raft of reforms. He was part of a team that examined how G4S, the largest private security company in the world, cut safety corners to maximize profits. His investigation into the company’s role in a U.S. military airstrike in Afghanistan that killed dozens of children won the International Livingston Award.

Most recently, Murphy and two colleagues exposed how police departments across the country punish officers who report misconduct and reward those who participate in cover-ups. After his reporting on this issue in Louisiana, lawmakers introduced legislation to give police whistleblowers more protections. Before USA Today, Brett covered courts and hurricanes for the Naples Daily News and other Gannett newspapers. He also co-founded Investigative Reporters & Editors’ “Local Matters” newsletter, a weekly roundup of the best investigative and watchdog reporting from local newsrooms. Murphy starts on April 25.

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