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Three Newsroom Partners Join ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network

ProPublica announced the addition of three new partner newsrooms and local reporters to its Local Reporting Network. The selected journalists are Margaret Coker of The Current, Marcus Baram for Documented and Madison Hopkins of The Kansas City Beacon. This group of projects will begin on April 1.

“We are thrilled to be working with these highly innovative local newsrooms and this talented group of journalists,” said Charles Ornstein, managing editor, local, at ProPublica. “At a time of ongoing challenges in local and regional news, this new generation of media organizations have successfully launched to produce high-impact accountability reporting. We look forward to working together to bring their important stories to fruition over the next year.”

The Current (Georgia) — Margaret Coker
Margaret Coker is the editor-in-chief of The Current, a nonprofit news organization that provides watchdog and investigative journalism for coastal Georgia. She founded The Current in 2020. For nearly two decades, Coker covered stories from 32 countries on four continents, focused largely on financial corruption and government accountability. She has worked for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. As Turkey bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal, Coker contributed to a 2016 series that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting. As the New York Times bureau chief in Baghdad, her front-page story about the undercover officer who infiltrated the Islamic State became the basis for her book, “The Spymaster of Baghdad.”

Documented (New York) — Marcus Baram
Marcus Baram is a writer for Documented, a nonprofit news site founded in 2018 and dedicated to covering New York City’s immigrants and the policies that affect their lives. Baram has worked as a reporter for the New York Daily News and as an editor at Capital & Main and the New York Observer, in addition to freelance writing for The New Yorker, The New York Times, New York magazine and Fortune magazine. In 2021, he was a recipient of the McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism and is working with Type Investigations to write and report a four-part series for Capital & Main on the erosion of the overtime wage rule in recent decades. Baram’s critically acclaimed 2014 biography of the late Gil Scott-Heron, “Pieces of a Man,” was named a notable book by The New Yorker.

The Kansas City Beacon (Kansas & Missouri) — Madison Hopkins
Madison Hopkins is a health care accountability reporter for The Kansas City Beacon, a nonprofit online news outlet focused on in-depth journalism in the public interest. The organization launched in March 2020. Before joining the Beacon, Hopkins worked as an investigative reporter with the Better Government Association in Chicago, where her work earned several regional and national awards. In 2021, she co-wrote a series of investigative reports exposing bureaucratic failures in Chicago’s system for enforcing building codes that contributed to dozens of fatal fires. The project was recently honored by the Chicago Journalists Association with awards for the best investigative and public service reporting and best overall in the competition. Hopkins received her master’s degree from Northwestern University in 2016.

ProPublica launched the Local Reporting Network at the beginning of 2018 to boost investigative journalism at local outlets. Since then, it has worked with 50 newsrooms. The network is part of ProPublica’s growing set of local initiatives, which include units in the Midwest, South and Southwest, as well as an investigative unit in partnership with The Texas Tribune.

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