Media Moves

ProPublica announces new hires for its new regional reporting units

April 1, 2021

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

ProPublica sent out the following excerpt announcement:

Max Blau, Nicole Carr, Doug Bock Clark, Aliyya Swaby and Seth Freed Wessler will join the team covering the South, and Eli Hager, Mary Hudetz and Nicole Santa Cruz will join the Southwest team. Three additional reporters — one in the South and two in the Southwest — will be announced soon.

The newly formed regional reporting units are part of ProPublica’s commitment to local reporting through its recent expansion of local initiatives.

Max Blau is currently an independent journalist working with Georgia Health News as part of ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network. Blau’s work has appeared in a variety of national publications, including Stat and Stateline, where he covered health care as a Southern correspondent. He also worked as a staff writer for CNN, Atlanta magazine and the Atlanta alt-weekly Creative Loafing, and he has published stories with the Atlantic, the New York Times, Politico magazine, Time and the Washington Post. Blau’s work at ProPublica will focus on health care, public health and the environment. He will be based in Atlanta.

Nicole Carr comes to ProPublica from WSB-TV in Atlanta, where she’s served as an investigative reporter. Carr is the recipient of three Southeast Regional Emmy awards, including a 2020 Emmy for investigative reporting. She was also awarded a 2012 fellowship with the International Center for Journalists. Her work at ProPublica will focus on criminal justice and racial inequity. She will be based in Atlanta.

Doug Bock Clark joins ProPublica from GQ magazine. He won the Arthur L. Carter Reporting Award and has been a finalist for the Livingston Award, the Mirror Award and the Excellence in Features Award from the Society of Features Journalists. His first book, “The Last Whalers,” was one of the New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2019. Clark has previously written about the South for the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones and Wired. He will be based in Durham, North Carolina.

Aliyya Swaby was previously a reporter at the Texas Tribune, where she covered public education and state politics starting in 2016. Before joining the Tribune, Swaby was a local reporter at the New Haven Independent. Her work at ProPublica will focus on children and families, exploring the many intersections of education and social inequality. She will be based in Atlanta.

Seth Freed Wessler is an independent reporter and a fellow at Type Investigations. He has reported for the New York Times Magazine, Reveal/The Center for Investigative Reporting, Mother Jones, the Smithsonian Magazine, the Nation, This American Life and others. Wessler is a founder of the Gumshoe Group, an initiative to support freelance journalists, and was previously an enterprise reporter for, a reporter for and a Soros Justice Media Fellow. His work at ProPublica will focus on criminal justice and immigration. He will be based in Atlanta.

Eli Hager joins ProPublica from the Marshall Project, where as a staff writer for six years. A two-time Livingston Award finalist and three-time finalist for the Education Writers Association’s national award, his work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, the Atlantic, the Guardian, New York Magazine, USA Today, NPR and elsewhere. Hager’s work at ProPublica will focus on issues affecting children and teens. He will be based in Phoenix.

Mary Hudetz joins ProPublica from the Seattle Times’ investigative team. Previously, she was a law enforcement reporter for the Associated Press in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and an editor for AP’s West Regional Desk in Phoenix. An enrolled member of the Crow Tribe in Montana, Hudetz is a past president of the Native American Journalists Association. She has extensive experience investigating and writing about issues facing Native Americans and tribes, particularly in the Southwest. Hudetz’s work at ProPublica will focus on investigating tribal issues throughout the region. She will be based in Albuquerque.

Nicole Santa Cruz joins ProPublica from the Los Angeles Times, where she spent nearly 12 years as a staff writer. Santa Cruz’s work at ProPublica will focus on investigating the impact of inequities on marginalized communities. She will be based in Phoenix.


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