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Center for Public Integrity news developer Pratheek Rebala has been recognized as one of Editor & Publisher magazine’s 25 Under 35 leaders in the journalism industry. 

Rebala, 26, was honored alongside editors, publishers, audience specialists and revenue leaders from newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Arizona Republic, Boston Globe, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Columbus Dispatch, as well as smaller local news organizations and online startups.

Pratheek Rebala smiles
Pratheek Rebala

“As tiresome as it can be to talk about the struggles of the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has given some people another opportunity to shine,” wrote Robin Blinder, Editor & Publisher’s associate publisher and vice president of editorial. “These 25 young professionals have used the difficult times to innovate, perform and stand out from their peers.”

Rebala’s innovative work on “Copy, Paste, Legislate,” an investigation into copycat bills being written by lobbyists and special interests in state legislatures across the country, was recognized in 2020 with Harvard’s prestigious Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting along with collaborators from USA Today and the Arizona Republic.

Last year, his data analysis and visualization work on “Barriers to the Ballot Box,” a national look at polling place closures and other issues of voting rights and access, was a finalist for the Toner Prize for Excellence in National Political Reporting.

Rebala joined Public Integrity in 2017 after working for three and a half years as an interactive graphics intern in the D.C. bureau of Time magazine. He graduated from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in 2017.

Asked for his advice to others, Rebala, who has served the past few years as an officer with the Public Integrity union, urged journalists to collaborate and stand up for each other.

“Don’t compete; collaborate. Build relationships with journalists in other newsrooms and those outside the industry. Then, when pitching stories, look for ways to tap into those relationships to broaden the scope and impact of your work,” he told E&P. “Support and fight for yourself and your fellow journalists. We all know our industry’s systemic problems. It might not always feel like it, but you do have the power to improve our business. Be an ally. Stand up for your colleagues. Share your salary info. And absolutely unionize your workplace.”

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