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Michigan Radio’s Beenish Ahmed named to ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network

December 22, 2023

Beenish Ahmed

ProPublica has announced that Michigan Radio’s criminal justice reporter Beenish Ahmed has been selected to join their Local Reporting Network. Ahmed and Michigan Radio will be one of five partner newsrooms and local journalists to be added to the ProPublica Network. This partnership is supported by a grant from the Abrams Foundation. The projects will begin on Jan. 2 and continue for two years.

In 2023, Ahmed was named Best Reporter by the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors. Ahmed has reported on concerns from detainees at the Wayne County Jail about extensive periods of pretrial detention during the early days of COVID-19, after which the county launched a public-facing dashboard; on police responses to mental health calls after Detroit police killed a young man who was having a schizophrenic episode; and on the efforts to reconsider the cases of hundreds of people who were sentenced to life without parole as juveniles in Michigan.

Ahmed has reported from Pakistan, Haiti, Kenya, Malawi and the United Arab Emirates and is the founder of The Alignist, a cultural capsule project through which international fiction meets international news. She has been a WNYC education reporter, a Spencer fellow at the Columbia School of Journalism, a Kroc fellow at NPR and a Fulbright scholar to the United Kingdom. Ahmed is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

ProPublica launched the Local Reporting Network at the beginning of 2018 to boost investigative journalism in local newsrooms. It has since worked with more than 70 news organizations. The network is part of ProPublica’s local initiative, which includes offices in the Midwest, South, Southwest and Northwest, plus an investigative unit in partnership with The Texas Tribune.

“We’re thrilled to be able to work with these new partners for two years,” said ProPublica’s Assistant Managing Editor Sarah Blustain. “The expanded fellowships will allow us to build strong newsroom relationships and develop a range of high-impact investigative projects.”

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