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Sarah Childress Joins ProPublica as Senior Editor

ProPublica announced Monday that Sarah Childress will join its staff as a senior editor.

Childress comes to the organization from The Washington Post, where she was the deputy editor for long-term investigations. There, she edited several revelatory investigations, including “Broken Doors,” a six-part podcast on the police misuse of no-knock warrants, which was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in the audio reporting category.

She spent nearly a decade at PBS's FRONTLINE as a reporter and then a series editor, where she contributed to multiple award-winning documentaries, podcasts and digital projects. She co-produced “Flint’s Deadly Water,” an in-depth investigation into the extent of a deadly Legionnaires’ disease outbreak during the Flint, Michigan, water crisis and officials’ failure to stop it. The piece also revealed a higher death toll from the Flint water crisis than had previously been reported. The documentary was nominated for a Peabody Award and an Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Documentary, and it was recognized by the Scripps Howard Awards with the Jack R. Howard Award for Broadcast — National/International Coverage. In 2019, she was appointed to lead FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative, through which she supported investigations by local newsrooms, including the Tampa Bay Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning series “Poisoned,” which exposed hazardous conditions for workers in a local lead smelter and the impact on area residents.

Childress began her career at Newsweek, where she focused on criminal justice and covered the Iraq War. She then spent several years as a foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, where she investigated the World Food Program’s dealings with warlords in Somalia. She currently teaches investigative journalism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“We feel tremendously fortunate to have Sarah join us,” said Managing Editor Tracy Weber. “She is deeply committed to ProPublica’s mission and I know her array of skills will elevate our journalism.”

“ProPublica has an incredible record of impactful investigations in the public interest,” said Childress. “I am thrilled and honored to join such a stellar team.” She lives outside of Boston with her husband, Mark, children Ezra and Luka, and a friendly little cat named Miche.

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