New York, N.Y. — Dec. 18, 2012 — ProPublica announced today that Robin Fields will become the Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit investigative newsroom’s managing editor effective Jan. 1, 2013. Fields, currently a senior editor at ProPublica, succeeds Stephen Engelberg, who is becoming ProPublica’s editor-in-chief, replacing Paul Steiger, who in turn becomes ProPublica’s executive chairman. Fields will be responsible for leading investigations, developing partnerships, managing the reporting staff and overseeing other editorial functions.
In addition, Eric Umansky has been appointed to the new position of assistant managing editor. Umansky, previously a senior editor, will also have an expanded role, including recruiting and overseeing ProPublica’s more quick-paced coverage. Umansky will report to Fields.
“From her first day here, Robin has been a dynamic force for ProPublica,” said Engelberg. “Her reporting showed how adept she was at pulling complex stories together, and the time she’s spent as an editor shows her ability to connect with the staff and bring home award-winning caliber work. Robin’s passion and her quick wit have made her a pleasure to work with and we’re very proud and lucky to have her as our new managing editor.”
Engelberg continued, “Eric Umansky has shaped ProPublica’s presence on the Internet from the beginning and his new role will give him even greater opportunities to keep ProPublica fresh and innovative. He will also be playing an expanded role in spotting and recruiting the next generation of investigative journalists.”
Fields, 45, joined ProPublica as a reporter in 2008 and became a senior editor in 2010. As an editor, she has managed projects on political dark money, injection wells, the military’s handling of traumatic brain injuries, police violence in post-Katrina New Orleans, cell tower deaths and the nation’s flawed system of death investigations. Work she has edited has twice been honored with George Polk Awards, as well as awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and IRE. Four of Fields’ projects have led to documentaries produced in partnership with PBS Frontline, two of which received Emmy nominations.
As a reporter at ProPublica, Fields did a project on U.S. dialysis care and wrote stories about a troubled chain of psychiatric hospitals. Fields was a finalist for a National Magazine Award for her work on dialysis, which was also honored by IRE and the Society of Professional Journalists and received the Gannett Foundation Award for Innovative Investigative Journalism. Fields began her career at the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida. Before joining ProPublica, she spent nine years as a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, where she worked on investigations into political fundraiser Norman Hsu, California’s adult guardianship system and abuses at the J. Paul Getty Trust. Her work on guardianship received the National Journalism Award for investigative reporting, a Sigma Delta Chi Public Service Award and an Associated Press Managing Editors Public Service Award.
“I’m honored to serve as ProPublica’s managing editor,” said Fields. “It’s a privilege to be able to focus on the kind of high-impact investigative journalism that is our signature. I look forward to the challenge of maintaining and building on the high standards we’ve set.”
Eric Umansky, 40, joined ProPublica in 2008 as a senior writer. He was then promoted to senior editor, and edited several of ProPublica’s financial investigations, including the series about practices on Wall Street before the crash that won ProPublica its second Pulitzer Prize in 2011. Before joining ProPublica, he worked at Slate and wrote the daily “Today’s Paper” feature. He’s also written for the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, The New Republic and elsewhere. Earlier in his career he was the editor of MotherJones.com. Umansky is also a co-founder of Document Cloud.
“Top-notch reporting and a Web-centric perspective are not mutually exclusive,” said Umansky. “At ProPublica, we’ve been able to combine the best of both worlds. I’m proud to work with such a great staff and eager to continue experimenting to make our journalism more dynamic and impactful.”
ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. In 2010, it was the first online news organization to win a Pulitzer Prize. In 2011, ProPublica won its second Pulitzer, the first ever awarded to a body of work that did not appear in print. ProPublica is supported primarily by philanthropy and provides the articles it produces, free of charge, both through its own website and often to leading news organizations selected with an eye toward maximizing the impact of each article. For more information, please visit www.ProPublica.org.