AZCIR is a nonprofit organization dedicated to statewide investigative reporting.
The Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting is an independent, nonprofit media organization dedicated to statewide accountability journalism in Arizona. AZCIR’s mission is to produce, foster and promote investigative journalism through original and collaborative reporting, public events and trainings, for the betterment of our communities.
We accomplish this through innovative, interactive and in-depth investigative reporting that incorporates data analysis and visualizations, multimedia gathering for publication in all news mediums and interactive digital content such as geographic mapping and spatial analysis. We publish our content digitally on www.azcir.org and through partnerships with Arizona news organizations.
AZCIR seeks to establish itself as a voice for investigative reporting in Arizona, serving as a content producer and collaborator, as well as an organization that highlights and discusses exceptional accountability journalism in our state. We are working to build an environment of collaborative investigative journalism, by which newsrooms can combine resources for greater impact. AZCIR will serve at the core of those collaborations, in addition to providing original content for statewide distribution.
Brandon Quester is the founder and executive director/editor of the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting. He is an investigative reporter and multimedia journalist who in 2012 completed a master’s degree at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Previously, Quester worked for various newspapers and journalism projects here and abroad. He has focused on issues such as children living along the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. soldiers serving in Kuwait and Iraq and street children living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. His work has appeared in news organizations such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Center for Public Integrity, and El Nuevo Herald.
Evan Wyloge has worked as a journalist for more than a decade, focused on accountability and watchdog reporting, with an emphasis on data analysis, for the past six. He earned a political science degree from Northern Arizona University in 2005 and a master’s degree in journalism in 2010. He’s passionate about investigative reporting that has real impact and that uncovers stories that would have otherwise gone uncovered. When he’s not trying to break open the next big story, Evan enjoys snowboarding and hanging out with his niece and nephew.
Tarryn Mento is a contributing reporter for the Arizona Center for Investigative reporting and a web producer for KPBS-San Diego. Prior to joining AZCIR, Tarryn was a Pulliam Fellow at The Arizona Republic and a video journalist for the national campaign “Face the Facts USA.” She completed her master’s degree at ASU’s Cronkite School, where she was a Carnegie-Knight News 21 Fellow for an investigation into food safety. She also was part of a team of student journalists who reported on the Dominican Republic’s stateless population, which was recognized by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.
Griselda Nevarez is a freelance journalist and part time contributing reporter for the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting. Her current freelance clients include NBCNews.com and, prior to that, Nevarez reported and wrote stories about politics with a focus on Latinos for VOXXI.com. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Arizona State University in May 2011. After graduation, she held several internships, including one with Hispanic Link News Service in Washington, D.C., where she covered national politics.
Erin Patrick O’Connor is a video journalist and part-time contributing reporter for the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting. Prior to joining AZCIR, he produced and directed the Cronkite News documentary, “Hooked: Tracking Heroin’s Hold on Arizona,” which was simultaneously broadcast on every television news station throughout Arizona in 2015. O’Connor completed his bachelor’s degree of journalism at ASU’s Cronkite School, where he also was a 2014 Carnegie-Knight News21 fellow for a national investigation into gun rights and regulations in the U.S.
Vlad Odobescu is a reporter with the Romanian Center for Investigative Journalism, an independent newsroom based in Bucharest, Romania. Odobescu is a visiting fellow for the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship in Journalism at the Cronkite School, where he will explore business models for nonprofit investigative journalism starting with a professional affiliation at AZCIR. Odobescu’s experience ranges from work at Evenimentul zilei, a prominant Romanian newspaper to working as a former editor of Yahoo! News Romania. His work has been published in USA Today, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Der Standard, among others.
Ryan Horan is a Geographic Information Systems expert who joined AZCIR to gain professional experience and to learn how GIS can benefit a data-driven newsroom. A recent graduate from Arizona State University with a degree in Geography and GIS, Horan applies his spatial analysis and relational database management skills to uncover and visualize trends in data. When he is not deep in the data mines, Ryan enjoys photographing nature’s organic patterns.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Paula Casey is the Executive Director of the Arizona Newspapers Association (ANA), a non-profit trade association. Paula has been with ANA since 1995 and the Executive Director since 2007. In addition to ANA she manages the for-profit, ANA Advertising Services, Inc. as well as the Arizona Newspapers Foundation. She is currently a member of the board of directors for the Cronkite Advisory Council, the University of Arizona Journalism School, the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association and the Arizona First Amendment Coalition. As a native of Arizona, Paula attended Arizona State University and graduated in 1978 with a degree in Finance. She’s been married to her husband, Tom, for 33 years and has two sons and two grandchildren.
Stephen K. Doig teaches database reporting at the Cronkite School of Journalism of Arizona State University. Before joining ASU in 1996, he was Research Editor of The Miami Herald in Florida. Investigative projects on which he worked at The Herald and at ASU have won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, and the George Polk Award for Medical Reporting. He is a Fulbright Scholar, a political science graduate of Dartmouth College, and served as a combat correspondent for the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
Josh Hoffner has worked at The Associated Press for 15 years in several senior-level editing jobs in New York City and Phoenix, including his current position as the AP’s Southwest News Editor. Previously, Hoffner worked on the national editing desk at AP headquarters in New York from 2001 to 2005 and then as NYC metro editor from 2005 to 2009. In New York, he directed coverage of stories from the Bernard Madoff and Eliot Spitzer scandals to the Sept. 11 aftermath. He also led the team of reporters that won the APME award for breaking news for its coverage of the Hudson River splashdown of a US Airways jet. Hoffner has been sent to lead coverage of major stories such as the 2006 Winter Olympics and domestic coverage of the 2004 election, including serving as an editor at the Republican National Convention in New York. He also co-authored a book on the Jodi Arias story with a fellow AP reporter. Hoffner and his wife, Anna Jo, live in Phoenix.
Brandon Quester is the co-founder and executive director of the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting. He is an investigative reporter and multimedia journalist who in 2012 completed a master’s degree at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Previously, Quester worked for various newspapers and journalism projects here and abroad. He has focused on issues such as children living along the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. soldiers serving in Kuwait and Iraq and street children living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. His work has appeared in news organizations such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Center for Public Integrity, and El Nuevo Herald.
JOURNALISM ADVISORY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN
Leonard Downie Jr., the Weil Family Professor of Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is vice president at large of The Washington Post, where he was executive editor from 1991 to 2008. During his 44 years in The Washington Post newsroom, he was also an investigative reporter, editor of the local and national news staffs, London correspondent, and, from 1984 to 1991, managing editor under then executive editor Ben Bradlee. As deputy Metro editor from 1972 to 1974, Downie helped supervise the newspaper’s Watergate coverage. He oversaw the newspaper’s coverage of every national election from 1984 through 2008. During his 17 years as executive editor, The Washington Post news staff won 25 Pulitzer prizes. Downie received Bachelor’s, Master’s and honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from The Ohio State University. He is the author of five books, including The New Muckrakers, about investigative reporting; The News About the News: American Journalism in Peril (with Robert G. Kaiser), and The Rules of the Game, a novel about Washington. He is also the author of The Obama Administration and the Press, published by the Committee to Protect Journalists in 2013, and co-author, with Columbia University Professor Michael Schudson, of The Reconstruction of American Journalism, published by The Journalism School of Columbia University in 2009. Downie is a founder and current board member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. and chairman of the board of advisers of Kaiser Health News and of the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.
David Bodney | Ballard Spahr LLP
Kelly Car | Senior Online Producer, Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism
Caitlin Cruz | Executive Editor, State Press
David Cuillier | Director, University of Arizona School of Journalism
Steve Elliott | Director of Digital News, Cronkite News Service
Valeria Fernandez | Correspondent at CNN Español, co-director and co-producer of documentary, Two Americans
Joseph Garcia | Director of Latino Public Policy Center and Director of Communications, Morrison Institute for Public Policy
Lauren Gilger | Investigative Reporter, ABC 15
Chris Herstam | Director of Government Relations, Lewis and Rocca LLP
Retha Hill | Executive Director of the Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab, Cronkite School
Pat Kossan | Associate Faculty, ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, former reporter with The Arizona Republic
Jack Mullins | Mesa Community College, residential faculty – journalism
Peter O’Dowd | KJZZ News Director
Rick Rodriguez | Carnegie professor, Southwest Borderlands Initiative, Cronkite School; former executive editor and vice president of The Sacramento Bee
Jim Small | Arizona News Service Editor, Arizona Capitol Times
Dylan Smith | Editor and Publisher, Tucson Sentinel
AJ Vicens | Reporter, Mother Jones