The Marshall Project, the Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit that covers the U.S. criminal justice system, is excited to announce the hire of its first-ever Senior Editor, Storytelling.
Raghuram Vadarevu will oversee and execute the strategic vision for The Marshall Project’s storytelling initiatives to help the organization reach a range of audiences who need the information our investigations uncover, including incarcerated people and their families and communities facing literacy challenges.
Vadarevu joins The Marshall Project from The Associated Press, where he served as Digital Editor, Global Enterprise/Investigations. He led a team of visual and graphic journalists that produced digital presentations, animated explainers, videos and illustrations for the organization’s most ambitious, impactful stories, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of Yemen’s civil war.
While at the AP, Vadarevu and his team also received the 2021 prize for excellence in COVID-19 coverage from the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, for a series exploring the lives of those who died from the coronavirus. The “Lives Lost” project featured audio remembrances from relatives and friends of those who died, giving them an opportunity to speak of their loved ones at a time when the pandemic limited public memorials.
In previous roles at the AP, Vadarevu served as an enterprise/investigations editor in the western U.S.. He guided an award-winning investigation into staffing irregularities at a privately run Idaho state prison, which led to a state takeover of the facility and an FBI probe. He also worked as a reporter at the St. Petersburg Times, The Bergen Record and the Providence Journal.
“Raghu’s digital storytelling expertise will be an important asset to The Marshall Project,” said Susan Chira, editor-in-chief of The Marshall Project. “By telling stories in nontraditional ways, we can expand our reach to more people affected by the issues that we cover, and also engage directly with communities who may not have access to the internet, or know very little about how the criminal justice system works.”
As The Marshall Project’s Senior Editor, Storytelling, Vadarevu will work with a wide range of partners on original projects, as well as Inside Story, our video series aimed at people behind bars. He will also help us deepen our commitment to community engagement journalism and reimagine ongoing investigative stories with alternative forms of storytelling in close collaboration with our product, audience, technology and multimedia teams.
“I'm excited to collaborate with the creative minds at The Marshall Project to tackle one of journalism's most urgent challenges: to find unique ways — whether on screens or in analog, retro formats — to reach those who don’t normally consume the news but would benefit from fact-based, accountability reporting,” Vadarevu said.
Vadarevu is based in Phoenix, Arizona, where he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, 4-year-old Lab mix, drawing, hiking, and following from afar his beloved New York Mets. He officially joins The Marshall Project August 29, and can be found on Twitter at @raghuwrites.