ProPublica announced on Monday that Ziva Branstetter will join its staff as a senior editor. She will start on April 12.
Branstetter comes to ProPublica from The Washington Post, where since 2018 she has served as the corporate accountability editor, leading a new investigative team in the newspaper’s financial section. An investigation she edited on a popular baby sleeper that was developed without medical safety tests and recalled after a series of infant deaths resulted in the resignation of the head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. A story she edited on cocoa harvested by children spurred an agreement between Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso to stop the importation of child laborers to harvest cocoa beans.
Branstetter was also the Post’s lead editor on the Pandora Papers investigation with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on the hidden flow of money and assets used by the world’s elites. The largest collaboration in journalism history, the investigation eventually included more than 60 Post journalists and had wide impact, from prompting two U.S. museums to announce plans to return stolen Cambodian antiquities to inspiring a proposed law cracking down on key players in the U.S. offshore financial system. The project was recently honored with an Overseas Press Club Award.
Before the Post, Branstetter spent 18 months as an editor at Reveal, where her team broke important stories on family separation and Tesla’s workplace safety record. She also worked for more than 20 years at the Tulsa World, covering the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the deadly 2011 Joplin, Missouri, tornado. An investigation she led into the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the indictment and resignation of the county’s seven-term sheriff. After witnessing a botched execution in 2014, she co-reported an investigation into Oklahoma’s flawed death penalty system, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting. In 2015, she co-founded The Frontier, an independent investigative newsroom in Tulsa, which continues to thrive.
“Ziva embodies ProPublica’s commitment to digging deep into pressing and often complex issues, with a sharp mind for telling stories in surprising ways,” said Tracy Weber, ProPublica’s managing editor for national. “We have long admired her conversation-starting accountability journalism and are thrilled to add her to our staff.”
“I’m thrilled to be joining ProPublica’s talented staff, widely known for creative, courageous and ambitious investigative journalism,” Branstetter said. “I was drawn to this profession for the reasons reflected in ProPublica’s work: making a difference in the world, exposing abuses of power and helping those without it while revealing how governments, corporations and society at large have failed them.”