ProPublica Illinois, a Chicago-based regional unit of the nonprofit news organization ProPublica, today announced that Duaa Eldeib and Melissa Sanchez are joining its team as reporters.
“Duaa and Melissa bring strong records for investigative journalism, and we’re very pleased to have them onboard,” said ProPublica Illinois editor-in-chief Louise Kiernan. “They will add to our outstanding base of talent as we begin publishing in the months ahead.”
Duaa Eldeib has worked at the Chicago Tribune since 2010 as an investigative reporter focused on criminal justice and child welfare. Her work has examined the death of children in state care, the treatment of juveniles in adult court and police use of polygraphs in cases where suspects were wrongly convicted. In 2015, she and two colleagues were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting after revealing that youths were assaulted, raped and prostituted at state-funded residential treatment centers. After the series, the head of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services resigned, and a court-appointed panel of experts called for a total overhaul of the agency. Before joining the Tribune, Eldeib was a reporter at the Daily Southtown, where her stories uncovering theft and corruption at a regional office of education led to the arrest of the superintendent and spurred lawmakers to abolish the office. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the National Headliner Award for Public Service, the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism and the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Investigative Reporting.
Melissa Sanchez most recently wrote for The Chicago Reporter and its sister magazine, Catalyst Chicago, covering a range of issues including youth, immigration and labor. Her investigation into the city’s failure to enforce its minimum wage ordinance led to pay raises for 1,300 school crossing guards and prompted city officials to begin levying penalties against employers found in violation. She also reported on the extraordinary costs of allowing private investors to finance public preschool programs. Before coming to Chicago, Sanchez was a reporter for el Nuevo Herald, the Miami Herald’s Spanish-language sister paper. In collaboration with other reporters, her stories there exposed rampant absentee ballot fraud, illegal electioneering and abusive police towing practices. Sanchez has also reported on immigration and crime for the Yakima Herald-Republic in Washington, and reported from Central America through a fellowship from the Inter American Press Association.