ProPublica’s Rui Kaneya on supporting local investigative news

Rui Kaneya, a senior editor at ProPublica, joins The Lead to talk about why local news is important and what it takes to become an investigative journalist. Rui oversees projects for ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network, which supports long-term projects at local news sources. He’s worked at multiple nonprofit news sources as an investigative reporter and editor, and was part of a team that won the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting for a series about model legislation.


Guest: Rui Kaneya, senior editor at ProPublica.

Melissa Lyttle on believing in your work

Melissa Lyttle is an award-winning photojournalist who spent 15 years working at newspapers in Florida and now freelances with support from organizations like the Pulitzer Center and the International Women’s Media Foundation. She’s worked on stories in Mexico, Haiti, the Gaza Strip and more places. Today, she joins The Lead to talk about not giving up when people tell you “no,” the importance of having a community and her project “Where They Stood,” which documents what happened to Confederate monuments after they were taken down.

Guest: Melissa Lyttle, freelance photojournalist.

BONUS: Introducing Jacqueline GaNun as host

In this season 12 bonus episode, Kyra Posey passes the microphone to the incoming host for next season, Jacqueline GaNun. Jacqueline tells us about her transition as host, the past experience she’s bringing to The Lead and why it’s important to have transparent and empathetic conversations about leadership in the news industry. 

Daniella Zalcman on reimagining documentary photography

Daniella Zalcman is an award-winning documentary photographer with work in National Geographic Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and in The New York Times — just to name a few places. She joins The Lead to discuss how photojournalists can reimagine documentary photography to tell compelling stories, the inspiration behind her award-winning project "Signs of Your Identity" which tells the story of survivors who were forced to attend assimilation boarding schools for indigenous children, and how she became interested in journalism.

Guest: Daniella Zalcman, documentary photographer.

Sean Keenan on why housing reporting is essential

Sean Keenan's work can be found in The New York Times, Atlanta Magazine, The Daily Beast and Vice — just to name a few places. Sean is a freelance reporter and he also covers housing for the Atlanta Civic Circle. He joins this episode to talk about why housing reporting is essential, the importance of holding public officials accountable, balancing accountability with objectivity and what drives him to keep covering housing. 

Guest: Sean Keenan, freelance reporter and housing reporter for the Atlanta Civic Circle.

Ken Foskett on why the public needs open records requests

Ken Foskett recently retired from his role as a senior editor for investigations at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and he has no shortage of stories to tell. He led a reporting team that investigated open records violations in Atlanta, which led to the first-ever criminal investigation of open records violations in the state of Georgia. He managed to get an interview with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who is known for not speaking with the press. He talks about these experiences and more in this episode.

Guest: Ken Foskett, former senior editor for investigations at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Max Blau on practicing radical transparency in interviews

Max Blau is an investigative reporter covering health care, public health, and the environment for ProPublica's South unit, and during his career as a journalist, he has investigated people, corporations and government agencies that have caused harm in their communities. He joins this episode of The Lead to discuss the importance of being radically transparent and participatory during interviews, his approach to beginning investigations, and how one's journalism practice can be deeply connected to their lived experiences. 

Guest: Max Blau, investigative reporter with ProPublica's South Unit.

Alex Sujong Laughlin on investing in your passions

Alex Sujong Laughlin paved her own way into podcasting: while working in social media, she taught herself how to produce audio with her own podcast. She went on to create and host podcasts for some of the biggest news brands in the world, including The Washington Post, the New York Times, and Buzzfeed. She joins to talk about investing in your passions, the importance of having your name attached to your work, and two of her current projects: the podcast "Normal Gossip" and her newsletter for Poynter, "The Cohort."

Guest: Alex Sujong Laughlin, writer and audio producer.

UGA’s Karin Assmann on interviewing hesitant sources

Dr. Karin Assmann has reported from Guantanamo Bay "three times" by her count. She's also convinced multiple CIA directors to interview with her. She joins today's episode to share her methods for getting an interview with the most hesitant sources, and shares why she became interested in studying newsrooms and working journalists.

Guest: Karin Assmann, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Journalism at the Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

GPB News‘ Wayne Drash on tragedy reporting and following a family‘s unique medical journey

How do you speak with sources who have recently been affected by a tragedy? How do you exceptionally report on a family's unique medical journey? Wayne Drash, the Cross Platform Managing Editor at Georgia Public Broadcasting News, answers in this episode.

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