ProPublica’s Illinois office, the first regional expansion in the publication’s history, is more than a third of the way towards being fully staffed as it adds two reporters and a news applications developer.
Jodi S. Cohen joins as a reporter from the Chicago Tribune, where she has been an investigative reporter. She had been a longtime higher education reporter there before then, writing a number of investigative articles on higher ed admissions and spending practices. Prior to joining the Tribune in 2003, Cohen had worked at The Detroit News.
Like Cohen, Jason Grotto also arrives from the Chicago Tribune and will serve as a reporter. At the Tribune, Grotto had been an investigative reporter, writing on issues like the state’s pension crisis, questionable financing practices by Chicago Public Schools and the University of Chicago Medical Center’s practice in the late aughts of sending ER patients to other facilities. Prior to joining the Tribune, he had been an investigative reporter at The Miami Herald.
David Eads joins as a news applications developer from the NPR Visuals team, where he had been the senior supervising editor and was part of the team responsible for NPR’s live debate fact-checks in 2016. And, to close the circle on these hires’ Chicago Tribune provenance, Eads worked there too, once, as a news applications developer.
In February, Louise Kiernan, an associate professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, was named the first editor in chief of the Illinois office.
Later in the year, when the inaugural hiring process will be completed, there will be about 10 reporters on staff.