Media Moves

CalMatters adds reporters and editors to newsroom

May 31, 2022

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

CalMatters has hired two editors and three reporters courtesy of funders, donors and individual members. This announcement has posted on the site:

Denise Zapata is our new deputy news editor.  Previously she was a senior editor at EdSource for eight years. As associate editor for The Center for Investigative Reporting, Denise was part of one team that won a George Polk Award and another that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. She began her journalism career at The Bakersfield Californian, where she covered several topics, including higher education, and later became an editor. She also worked as an editor at the Union-Tribune in San Diego.

Denise Smith Amos is our new California Divide editor. Previously she was the Watchdog and Accountability Team editor at the San Diego Union-Tribune, where she managed nine reporters. She brings nearly 35 years of editing and reporting experience to CalMatters as well as a passion for accountability journalism and a perspective on Divide stories that she credits to her personal background. She has worked as an education reporter at the Florida Times Union and the Cincinnati Enquirer; editor in chief of the Kentucky Enquirer and Assistant Metro Editor at the St Louis Post Dispatch. She graduated from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.

Lil Kalish is our new California Divide reporter based in Los Angeles. As a senior fellow at Mother Jones magazine, they produced investigative features with a fresh and lively writing style and fact-checked enterprise stories. Lil has also freelanced for The Guardian and LAist and worked at the Bail Project writing a history of U.S. bail funds for the UCLA Law Review. Lil earned a degree in political science and Chinese language at Vassar as well as a masters in postcolonial studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. After undergrad, they worked for a year as a reporter at The Myanmar Times through a government crackdown in Burma.

Nadia Lopez, our new environment reporter, was previously the Latino Communities reporter at the Fresno Bee, where she wrote in English and Spanish. She also co-launched a Latino issues newsletter and appears regularly on a national Spanish-language talk show. Previously, she was the city hall reporter at San Jose Spotlight. Nadia graduated from San Francisco State with a degree in professional writing and rhetoric.

And Jeanne Kuang is our new Sacramento-based California Divide reporter. Previously, she was the Missouri statehouse correspondent for The Kansas City Star. She is a San Gabriel Valley native who left California for a journalism degree at Northwestern University, then reported on criminal justice in Chicago and government, housing, gun violence and poverty in Wilmington, Delaware.



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