Janelle O'Dea joined CPI from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where she was a data reporter for five years. There, she combined the subject-matter expertise of her fellow reporters with data analysis and programming to dig deeper into stories and subjects. One project of note was the paper's 2018 series, "Tipping Point," which reported on the effects of too many vacant, dilapidated homes in St. Louis — particularly in the city's underserved and neglected communities, where the vacant housing is heavily concentrated. At CPI, she'll use those skills to build collaborations with and help sustain investigative reporting at local news outlets.
Janelle is from a small town outside of Champaign-Urbana, called Mahomet, and the Midwest is her home. Prior to moving to St. Louis, where she currently lives, she worked in Florida and Colorado covering business and government. She graduated from the University of Illinois with a major in journalism and a minor in informatics, and is a passionate, longtime member of Investigative Reporters and Editors.