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Charlie Hsing-Chuan Dodge and Vanessa Lee are joining an expanding audience team at the Center for Public Integrity that is working to reach, engage and partner with those most affected by the U.S. inequality the nonprofit newsroom investigates.

Dodge, an upcoming graduate of New York University who created her 21st century storytelling major by combining course work in history, writing and film, will work as an audience producer focusing on reader experiences and membership.

Charlie Dodge

Lee, a former communications specialist for the University of Arkansas Medical Science Center and television news reporter, joined Public Integrity this month as an audience producer focusing on social media and outreach.

“Centering the lived experiences of the people most affected by the work of our newsroom is critical to fulfilling our mission without causing undue harm,” said Director of Audience Lisa Yanick Litwiller. “Our growing group of creative, thoughtful and savvy audience journalists ensures we are telling the right stories and that we continue to connect with the communities who most need our reporting and resources.”

Dodge spent the last year as the history and digital communications intern for the Oregon-California Trails Association. While there, she used video and social media to engage younger and more diverse audiences and to center the stories of marginalized people who are part of the Oregon Trail history.

Her first day at Public Integrity is May 23.

Lee, who covered community-centered stories while working at Fox West Texas and THV11 in Little Rock, Arkansas, has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her first day at Public Integrity was April 11. 

Vanessa Lee

“I believe social media can greatly impact lives by giving a voice to people often unheard,”  Lee said. 

Public Integrity is one of the country’s oldest nonprofit investigative news organizations. Two years ago, it focused its mission on investigative reporting that confronts inequality. Last summer, Paul Cheung took over as the second person of color to lead the organization, and earlier this year, Public Integrity announced that both its newsroom and overall staff were majority people of color after being 86% white in 2016.

A core goal in Public Integrity’s approach to investigative journalism about inequality is reporting with and in service to the people and communities most affected by the issues it covers. That’s at the forefront of the audience team’s work.

In the past year, the team has led nationwide efforts to connect Public Integrity’s data and investigative superpowers with local journalists who know their communities best and has created new ways for readers to engage. Audiences can now connect with reporting through read alouds of our signature investigative pieces on the Integrity Out Loud podcast channel, through live and virtual events that continue conversations after stories publish, and through texting, special newsletters and interactive website experiences. 

Founded in 1989, Public Integrity is a Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit news organization dedicated to investigating systems and circumstances that contribute to inequality in the United States. Areas of focus include equity in employment, housing, education, health care and access to democracy.

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