ProPublica announced today that Patricia Callahan will join its staff as a senior reporter covering business. She will start on Aug. 31.
Callahan joins ProPublica from the Chicago Tribune, where she has been on the investigative team since 2004. There she launched “Hidden Hazards: Kids at Risk,” a series showing that federal safety regulators repeatedly failed to protect children from dangerous products. This work prompted the recall of more than 1 million baby products and spurred Congress to pass the broadest reform of consumer-product safety laws in a generation. The series won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.
In 2012, Callahan and colleagues showed that harmful chemicals used as flame retardants on furniture were migrating into people’s bodies – while providing no meaningful protection from fires. The series led to the repeal of the legislation responsible for the chemicals’ use. It won the Goldsmith Prize and was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. Callahan and a colleague were also Pulitzer finalists for a series exposing how Illinois officials steered low-income adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities into privately run group homes where caregivers severely neglected patients, while regulators hid harm and even deaths.
Before the Tribune, Callahan worked at the Wall Street Journal, where she covered the food, pharmaceutical and publishing industries, and the Denver Post, where she was part of the team that won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting for coverage of the Columbine High School shootings.
“With a body of work that reflects compassion and a deep concern for how business and finance affect everyday people, Patricia has truly distinguished herself,” said ProPublica managing editor Robin Fields. “We’re excited to bring her talents to ProPublica as we expand our business coverage.”
“This is a critical time to be reporting about business and the dismantling of regulations that impact every aspect of American life,” said Callahan. “I’m thrilled to join such an innovative group of investigative journalists.”