InvestigateWest is thrilled to announce the addition of two full-time investigative reporters, both of whom have a long track record of unearthing critical stories around the West.

Kaylee Tornay, who grew up in Bend, Oregon, most recently covered education for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat where she led an investigation exposing a private school’s failures to address sexual harassment by one of its teachers. That investigation won first place for investigative and public service journalism in this year’s California Journalism Awards. 

Zachariah Bryan, who grew up in Graham, Washington, most recently worked as assistant news editor for the Daily Herald in Everett where he helped manage a newsroom of reporters. As a reporter, he’s covered the environment, public safety and business for a variety of outlets across western Washington and Alaska. He graduated from Seattle Pacific University and studied environmental journalism at the University of Montana.

“We were blown away by the incredible work these two journalists have been doing,”  Executive Director Jacob Fries said. “They’re fearless. They’re great reporters — and great writers — and we’re delighted to have them on the team.” 

InvestigateWest is a nonprofit news organization dedicated to investigative journalism for the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 2009, the Seattle-based newsroom covers a range of topics including public health, the environment, youth, racial justice, voting and government accountability. Over the years, its reporting has prompted reforms and more than a half dozen different state laws protecting the environment, workers and foster children.

“We are excited about the editorial team we are building at InvestigateWest,” said Brant Houston, the Knight Chair of Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois and InvestigateWest’s board chair. “Both journalists will help the newsroom expand in its scope and skills.”

Learn more about InvestigateWest’s change-making journalism and consider marking a donation to the reader-supported nonprofit. Read more about the newest members of the InvestigateWest’s reporting team below:

ZACHARIAH BRYAN has written for newspapers and magazines in Washington, Alaska and Montana. Most recently, he worked at the Daily Herald in Everett, where he was assistant news editor and reported on breaking news, the criminal justice system and the environment. He has reported extensively on police use of force, prosecutorial misconduct, and an outspoken sheriff who rehired deputies previously fired for policy violations. And based in ground zero of the COVID-19 pandemic, he’s covered the initial and ongoing toll of the deadly virus. He will join InvestigateWest in July and report from western Washington.

KAYLEE TORNAY has been documenting stories in Oregon and California since her high school journalism days in Bend, Oregon, covering the progress of the water polo team. A graduate of the University of Oregon, she braved the rains of Eugene with her notebook before moving on to cover wildfire mitigation and dangerous highways in the forests and vineyards of Southern Oregon and Sonoma County. She has won regional awards for her work watchdogging public and private schools’ efficacy in meeting student needs, from safety to mental health support to instruction. She will join InvestigateWest in August and report from Oregon.