Our Mission

InvestigateWest is a nonprofit investigative journalism newsroom located in Seattle, WA. We focus on critical issues that impact our communities throughout the Pacific Northwest and Cascadia, with a special focus on environment, government and corporate accountability, and public health. Our mission is to engage Pacific Northwest residents in social issues by providing compelling, change making investigative and explanatory journalism. Our vision is a society of informed residents empowered to exercise their rights and work within their communities to make the world a more just and equitable place.

Our History

InvestigateWest was founded in 2009 by Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper reporters and editors after the paper stopped publishing. Seeing the need for local news, we have worked to build a nonprofit model for public-service journalism, and publish dozens of in-depth stories every year that reach audiences of over one million people. We produce original reporting and tools that equip the public to participate in our democracy, and collaborate with other news outlets to pursue consequential journalism. Partners include The Atlantic, Crosscut, Grist, Salon, The New York Times, KUOW Public Radio, and more.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility

InvestigateWest is committed to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA). Our work relies on our ability to build authentic and trusting relationships across the spectrum of our human differences. As individuals, we carry our identities and experiences with us. Creating and sustaining inclusive working environments for all individuals is vital to the future of InvestigateWest and to providing the best public service journalism for our communities. 

COMPETITIVE PAY. We offer competitive pay for staff and freelancers, including producers, editors, reporters, development, and in every area of our work. In journalism, socioeconomic factors have prevented diversity, and without addressing those factors many DEI efforts have failed.  DEI EDITORIAL & OPERATIONAL FOCUS. We will create stories, working environments, and engagement techniques in which all people are valued, respected, and can engage without barriers. We will use an equity lens to examine all stories and initiatives going forward. This is a series of questions we will ask ourselves internally before we begin any new initiative at INVW, including: Who is the right person to report on this story? To edit this story? To photograph this story? What is their cultural competency, especially as it relates to language choice? There are more ongoing questions that we will define and answer with our community. WHERE WE LIVE & WORK. We acknowledge that the Seattle offices of InvestigateWest are located on Indigenous lands, and our work takes place in Indigenous spaces. We are located on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary Lands of the Coast Salish people, including the Duwamish People past and present. 

Fast Fact Information:

Our Team

Jacob Fries

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Jacob Fries is executive director of InvestigateWest. Previously, Fries spent more than a decade leading the Inlander, a Spokane-based weekly paper covering the Inland Northwest that’s become a regional powerhouse for narrative and accountability reporting. A Pacific Northwest native, he also worked as a reporter at the Tampa Bay Times and the New York Times, and his work has appeared in numerous publications, including the Seattle Times, the Denver Post, and the Boston Globe. Reach him at jacob@invw.org.

Jacqui Banaszynski

SENIOR EDITOR
Jacqui Banaszynski is a career journalist who now edits Nieman Storyboard, a global website that explores the art and craft of stories. She is an emerita professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and faculty fellow at the Poynter Institute. While at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, her series “AIDS in the Heartland” won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. She was a finalist for the 1986 Pulitzer in international reporting for coverage of the Ethiopian famine and won the nation’s top deadline sports reporting award for coverage of the 1988 Olympics. Banaszynski has edited numerous award-winning projects, ranging from narratives to investigative projects. In 2008, she was named to the Association of Sunday and Features Editors Features Hall of Fame.

Jason Begay​

SENIOR EDITOR
Jason Begay i​s an associate professor at the University of Montana School of Journalism where he teaches the Montana Native News Project, a capstone course that gives students the opportunity to cover in-depth news stories on the state’s seven reservations. He grew up on the Navajo Nation and has worked as a reporter at the Navajo Times, the New York Times, the Oregonian and the Oakland Tribune.

Andrea Otáñez

SENIOR EDITOR
Andrea Otáñez of Seattle, Washington, has worked as a reporter, copy editor, team editor and columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune and The Seattle Times. She is currently an associate teaching professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington, Seattle, where she has developed courses in communication studies; race, gender, power and media representations of Latinx people; and critiques of journalistic objectivity.

Jim Simon

SENIOR EDITOR
Jim Simon is currently an adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Washington. He is the former managing editor of Honolulu Civil Beat, a nonprofit focused on in-depth reporting in Hawaii and the Pacific. Simon is also the former managing editor of the Seattle Times, where he spent more than 30 years as an editor and reporter. In addition to helping lead Times’ teams that won Pulitzer Prizes in 2010 and 2015, his own investigative reporting on environment and mental health issues in the Northwest has won national awards. He has also taught and trained journalists in Southeast Asia, as well as worked as a wire service reporter in the Philippines. Simon is the former national president of the Associated Press Media Editors association. 

Zachariah Bryan

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER
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. Reach him at zachariah@invw.org.

Wilson Criscione

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER
Wilson Criscione, a lifelong Washingtonian, has reported for various newspapers throughout the state, including the Bellingham Herald and the Inlander. His work has exposed top state officials for ignoring domestic violence, triggered criminal investigations into abusive police and uncovered mistreatment of children in schools and foster care. Reach him at wilson@invw.org or on twitter @wilsoncriscione.

Kaylee Tornay 

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER
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. Reach her at kaylee@invw.org.

Braela Kwan

FELLOW & DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCER
Braela Kwan recently completed a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., where she is based. Her work can be found in The Tyee, Hakai Magazine, The Star Vancouver, and Slate Magazine.

Emily Jo Wharry

WEB PRODUCER/DIGITAL EDITOR
Emily Jo Wharry collaborates with InvestigateWest’s reporting and multimedia staff to produce visually-compelling digital stories. Her journalism and editorial background spans nonprofits, hyper-local newsrooms and academic publishing. She has a bachelor’s degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles, where she double majored in history and politics and spent four years working for her campus newspaper, The Occidental.

Indunil Usgoda Arachchi

REPORTING INTERN
Indunil Usgoda Arachchi, an Alfred Friendly fellow in 2022. She is a journalist in Sri Lanka and has worked for six years as a newspaper reporter and freelancer, including stories and photography for the Ravaya newspaper, the Sunday Observer, and Reuters. The OCCRP in late 2021 hired her as an editor for South Asia projects.

Rochelle Gluzman

REPORTING INTERN
Rochelle Gluzman is a master’s student at Sciences Po in Paris, where she studies journalism and environmental policy. A UC Berkeley alumna, Rochelle previously worked at Climate Break, a climate solutions podcast from Berkeley Law. She also wrote about climate, politics, and biodiversity for the Daily Californian. You can reach her at rochelle@invw.org. 

Anushuya Thapa

REPORTING INTERN
Anushuya Thapa is a junior at Northwestern University, where she studies Journalism and International Studies. She grew up in Kathmandu, Nepal and has worked at The Himalayan Times and, more recently, her campus publication, The Daily Northwestern. You can reach her at anushuya@invw.org.

Board of Directors

Brant Houston

PRESIDENT AND BOARD CHAIR
Brant Houston holds the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at the University of Illinois. Houston teaches investigative and advanced reporting in the Department of Journalism in the College of Media at Illinois. He also oversees the online newsroom at Illinois, CU-CitizenAccess.org, which serves as a lab for digital innovation and data journalism. Houston became the chair in 2007 after serving for more than a decade as the executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), a 5,000-member organization, and as a professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Before joining IRE, he was an award-winning investigative reporter at daily newspapers for 17 years. Houston is the author of four editions of the textbook, “Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide,” and co-author of the fourth edition and fifth edition of “The Investigative Reporter’s Handbook.” He co-founded the Global Investigative Journalism Network in 2003 and serves as chair of its board of directors. He has taught and spoken about investigative and computer-assisted reporting at newsrooms and universities in 25 countries. Currently he is working on projects involving nonprofit journalism newsrooms, digital tools for news-gathering, and new business models for journalism.

Paul Joseph Brown

VICE PRESIDENT
Paul Joseph Brown Is a retired photojournalist. He worked on staff at newspapers in Maine, Oregon, Alaska, Texas, and retired after 20 years on staff at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 2009. Subsequently, he founded Global Health Photo (globalhealthphoto.com) and Ecosystem Photo (ecosystemphoto.com), completing documentary photography projects for a variety of national and international clients in more than 30 countries. Since his retirement Paul has dedicated himself to progressive political and social change as a philanthropist.

Celia Wu

TREASURER
Celia Wu has worked in the media industry for over 30 years. She holds a Masters of Arts from the School of Journalism, University of Missouri, where her thesis project was on local and independent news sustainability. She currently works in communications in local government, where she acts as a publisher of news and information for the community she serves. Prior companies she worked for in consulting, operations, and business development capacities include Vice Media LLC, The 614 Group (a management consultancy for digital media), Operative Media, MSNBC.com, and Microsoft. Celia spent 14 years living and working in Asia; moving there to join the launch team of STAR TV, Asia’s first satellite TV broadcaster. While in Asia, she went on to work as Executive Vice President & General Manager for Turner Entertainment before joining Microsoft as General Manager for MSN Asia. Celia began her career in television news on the production crew of ABC News 20/20, before moving to the business side with Public Television International. Celia is active with the Asian American Journalists Association and volunteers as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). With roots across three continents, Celia is also a licensed basketball and soccer referee.

Joe Copeland

SECRETARY
Joe Copeland is the former senior editor for Crosscut, where he has been an editor since 2010. Before that, he was an editorial writer and columnist for the Seattle P-I and editorial page editor of the Everett Herald. A Fulbright researcher in Japan in 2009, he is the author of an e-book, “Peace Quest: The Survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”​

Anika Anand

DIRECTOR
Anika Anand is the deputy director for LION Publishers, which provides teaching, resources and community to independent news entrepreneurs as they build and develop sustainable businesses. Since joining LION in 2019, she’s designed, launched and fundraised for programs that have given out more than $600,000 in direct funding to members; helped grow the annual budget by 200 percent; recruited and hired to triple the size of the LION team; and overseen the development of a framework to measure news sustainability. Previously, she co-founded Seattle newsletter The Evergrey, was the storytelling and product director of its parent company WhereBy.Us and has also worked in product and engagement roles for The Seattle Times Education Lab and Chalkbeat. She lives in Seattle with her husband and son.

Berit Anderson

DIRECTOR
Previously, she co-founded and served as the CEO of Scout.ai, a media company exploring the future of technology through analysis, science fiction, and scenario planning games. An international keynote speaker and advisor on innovation, technology, media, and global policy, Berit has appeared at the Brussels Forum, the European Council on Foreign Relations, the Conference on World Affairs, TEDxVilnius, DevoxxBelgium, and TEQNation, among others. In 2017, her work on information warfare was featured in the New Yorker, Gizmodo, and TechCrunch, and cited by internet creator Tim Berners-Lee as one of the top three challenges facing the internet. Berit is a member of Global Shapers, the World Economic Forum’s international network of young leaders; and serves on the boards of environmental media nonprofit Yes! Magazine.

Jeremy Gilbert 

DIRECTOR
Jeremy Gilbert is the Knight Chair of Digital Media Strategy at Northwestern University’s Medill School and he oversees the Knight Lab. Both his work and teaching focus on the content and revenue strategies of existing and emerging media companies. He explores the intersection of technology and media, examining how new tools and techniques will affect the creation, consumption and distribution of media. Prior to assuming the Knight Chair, Gilbert was The Washington Post’s Director of Strategic Initiatives where he created and led the Lede Lab, an award-winning team that helped in transforming The Post into an international, digital-first news organization. His other past roles include National Geographic, The Poynter Institute, The Tampa Bay Times and The News-Press.

Diana Huynh 

DIRECTOR
Diana Huynh leads the development and execution of communications strategies for Group Health Foundation, which seeks to transform the balance of power to ensure racial justice in Washington and beyond. A journalist by training, Diana has more than a decade of experience in nonprofit and policy communications. Additionally, she previously worked with the American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C. and with Asian Americans for Equality in New York. She is a proud resident of Beacon Hill. 

Don Smith

DIRECTOR
Don Smith spent more than 40 years leading teams at newsrooms in Idaho, Texas and Washington as a city editor, assistant city editor, political editor and business editor. He left professional journalism in 2009 when the Seattle Post-Intelligencer closed its doors in the midst of an economic tsunami that is still decimating America’s newsrooms. But he remains firmly committed to the importance of journalistic independence, shared truth, and the hard work it sometimes takes to uncover it.

Joshua Trujillo  

DIRECTOR
Joshua Trujillo is senior visual storyteller for Starbucks Coffee Company. Working as a visual journalist for more than 20 years, Josh uses his craft of still and moving images to document the unique and the ordinary. His still photography has been published in almost every major U.S. newspaper, magazine, and website, including on the front page of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and full-page features in People Magazine following the 2010 Haiti earthquake and in Sports Illustrated during the Seahawks run to the Super Bowl. Josh is on the Board of Directors for Seattle’s Photographic Center Northwest, is a co-founder of Northwest Photojournalism, organizations that support and educate lens-based storytellers in the Pacific Northwest.

Beverly Wyse

DIRECTOR
Beverly Wyse has over 30 years of leadership experience primarily in the Aerospace industry. Now retired from Boeing, where she held a variety of roles including President of Shared Services, Vice President and General Manager of the 767, 737 and 787 programs. Wyse currently serves on various Boards and is a consultant to numerous  international companies. In addition to her role on the Investigate West Board, she is also on the Olin Board of Trustees, a top ranked engineering school focused on innovative education.  Wyse is also on the Board of Trustees at Heroux-Devtek Inc, a company specializing in the aerospace market in the design, manufacture and integration, of landing gear and actuation systems and components. Wyse is also a strategic advisor in the aerospace sector to Arcadis, a multi-billion dollar infrastructure company. Wyse has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in business administration, both from the University of Washington in Seattle.  She is a born and raised Puget Sound native with a love of hiking, watersports, and winter sports such as skiing and snow shoeing.

Past Contributors

Allegra Abramo • Joy Borkholder • Jason Buch • Rebecca Clarren • Jenny Cunningham • Sally Deneen • Ben DeJarnette • Christopher Dunagan • Peter Fairley • James Gordon • Will Graff • Olivia Henry • Lael Henterly • Rita Hibbard • Adiel Kaplan • Mara Kardas-Nelson • Francesca Lyman • Kate Martin • Robert McClure • Rachel Nielsen • Sergio Olmos • Levi Pulkkinen • Susanna Ray • Claudia Rowe • Stephanie Schendel • Brad Shannon • Carol Smith • Ashley Stewart • Lee van der Voo

Photography

Documentary and feature photography is shot by Dan DeLong, Leah Nash, Mike Kane, Adam Bacher and Paul Joseph Brown.