ProPublica announced on Wednesday that it has hired two editors, Zahira Torres and Michael J. Mishak, to help oversee its Local Reporting Network, a growing initiative to support investigative journalism at local and regional newsrooms across the country.
Zahira Torres will serve as editor of the six additional journalists joining ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network on July 1. She is currently the editor of the El Paso Times and enterprise editor for USA Today Network’s Texas/New Mexico newspapers. During her tenure, Torres was part of a team that developed and edited “The Wall: Untold Stories, Unintended Consequences,” which won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. Torres began her career at the Times while attending college and was named capitol bureau chief in 2009. She then worked as an education reporter for The Denver Post and Los Angeles Times before returning to her El Paso roots to lead the paper’s investigations and eventually be promoted to editor, becoming the first Latina to hold the title.
Michael J. Mishak comes to ProPublica from Newsweek, where he was deputy editor. He will take over the state government group of the Local Reporting Network, currently overseen by Marilyn Thompson, as she transitions into her new role as senior editor of ProPublica’s Washington, D.C., newsroom. Mishak was previously an investigative reporter at the Center for Public Integrity, where his work examining the financial ties between state insurance commissioners and the companies they regulate was a finalist for a Gerald Loeb Award. He’s also worked as a staff writer for the Las Vegas Sun, The Associated Press, National Journal and Los Angeles Times and is a co-director of Princeton University’s Summer Journalism Program, an annual journalism and college admissions initiative for low-income high school students.
ProPublica also announced that senior reporter T. Christian Miller will take on new editing responsibilities for two Local Reporting Network projects in addition to his current work investigating the Navy. Miller was one of the first reporters ProPublica hired when it launched in 2008 and has spearheaded some of the newsroom’s most complex and impactful projects, including his reporting with Ken Armstrong (then with The Marshall Project) on why sexual assault cases are so poorly investigated, which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.
“Building out ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career,” Deputy Managing Editor Charles Ornstein said. “I’m beyond thrilled to welcome Zahira, Mike, and T. to the team as we continue to expand our efforts to support vital accountability journalism in the communities that need it most.”