ProPublica announced on Tuesday the six newsrooms and local reporters who will participate in the newest round of its Local Reporting Network. The selected journalists are Abigail Kramer of THE CITY, Meribah Knight of Nashville Public Radio, Will Sennott of The New Bedford Light, Tony Schick of Oregon Public Broadcasting, Alison Burdo of The Press of Atlantic City and Brittany Freeman of Rocky Mountain PBS. The group of projects will begin on Sept. 1 and continue for a year. The reporting projects are supported by a grant from the Abrams Foundation.
“Local news has suffered immensely in recent years,” Sarah Blustain, deputy editor, local, for ProPublica, said. “We are excited to help sustain accountability reporting at the local level by working on ambitious projects with these talented reporters.”
THE CITY (New York) — Abigail Kramer
Abigail Kramer is a journalist in New York City, where she writes about public policy and its impact on vulnerable people. Most recently, she was a senior editor at the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School, where her work led to policy reforms and increased oversight of the city’s child welfare, juvenile justice and early education systems. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Salon.com, the Daily News, Politico New York, City & State and the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
Nashville Public Radio (Tennessee) — Meribah Knight
Meribah Knight is a senior reporter and producer at Nashville Public Radio. She is the lead reporter and host of the podcast “The Promise,” which received a 2021 Peabody award. She is a former staff reporter for Crain’s Chicago Business, where she covered labor and the Rust Belt. Before that she was a staff reporter with the Chicago News Cooperative, producing the Chicago section of The New York Times. Her writing has appeared in the Times, the New Yorker, O, the Oprah Magazine and the Chicago Reader. Her radio and multimedia work has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here and Now, WBEZ, the “PBS NewsHour” and Chicago Public Television.
The New Bedford Light (Massachusetts) — Will Sennott
Will Sennott is a reporter at The New Bedford Light, in Massachusetts, where he covers housing court, education, offshore wind and the fishing industry in the nation’s largest fishing port. Sennott is a lead reporter on the team that founded the digital, nonprofit newsroom that covers the coastal city this June. Previously, he worked for the Vineyard Gazette. Sennott’s reporting has been featured on NPR, The Village Voice and The Boston Globe.
Oregon Public Broadcasting (Oregon) — Tony Schick
Tony Schick is a reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland, where he has covered the environment since 2013. He previously worked for Investigative Reporters and Editors. His most recent project, a collaboration with The Oregonian and ProPublica examining Oregon’s timber industry, won the 2021 John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism from Columbia University.
The Press of Atlantic City (New Jersey) — Alison Burdo
Alison Burdo is a reporter with The Press of Atlantic City in South Jersey. Before joining the newspaper, she supported the launch of nonprofit the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting, which aims to prevent shootings by improving reporting on community gun violence. She previously was a digital journalist with NBC10 in Philadelphia, where she led an investigation into the epidemic of unsolved missing persons cases, and was part of the reporting team that helped earn NBC10 an Edward R. Murrow Regional Award for Best Large Market TV website. While covering city policy with the Philadelphia Business Journal, she earned a Keystone Press Award for ongoing news coverage of the city’s soda tax. Her reporting has also appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, WHYY’s Billy Penn, Green Philly, Crain’s Chicago Business and WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight.”
Rocky Mountain PBS (Colorado) — Brittany Freeman
Brittany Freeman is an executive producer at Rocky Mountain PBS in Colorado. She has spent most of her broadcasting career producing investigative journalism that is largely focused on government accountability. She is part of the team that produced “Breakdown,” which examined how Colorado’s criminal justice system interacts with people with mental illness; the project just won an Edward R. Murrow Award for news documentary in 2021. Prior to joining Rocky Mountain PBS, Freeman worked with investigative teams at WSMV-TV in Nashville and KMGH-TV in Denver. She is a graduate of the journalism school at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Both Knight and Schick have been previous Local Reporting Network reporters.
Local reporters will work from and report to their home newsrooms, while receiving extensive support and guidance for their work from ProPublica, including collaboration with a senior editor and access to the nonprofit newsroom’s expertise with data, research, engagement, video and design. The work will be published by the participating newsroom and simultaneously by ProPublica.
ProPublica launched the Local Reporting Network at the beginning of 2018 to boost investigative journalism in local newsrooms. Since then, it has worked with 50 newsrooms. The network is part of ProPublica’s growing local initiatives, which include units in the Midwest, South and Southwest, as well as an investigative unit in partnership with The Texas Tribune.