The Utah Investigative Journalism Project was founded in 2016 as a non-profit, public service journalism and educational resource for the state and region. By partnering with newspapers and broadcast media on difficult in-depth stories, our mission is to help these institutions continue their historic role as government watchdogs and defenders of the poor and oppressed. Our secondary calling is to train and educate local journalists in the practice of investigative journalism. In this role we have provided free reporting workshops for rural papers, student journalists and major news outlets.
Board of Directors
Eric Peterson has been an investigative reporter in Utah for the past decade and gained acclaim for breaking major stories about pay-to-play corruption allegations at the Utah Attorney General’s Office years before his competition. He’s won nearly a dozen First Place awards from the Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in the contest’s most competitive division. He placed third nationally in the 2014 Association for Alternative Newsmedia Awards for coverage of homelessness in Salt Lake City, a series that included time spent undercover at the local homeless shelter. He is also President of the Board of the Utah Headliners Chapter for the Society of Professional Journalists.
Edward McDonough is a longtime reporter who has worked for The Salt Lake Tribune, The Salt Lake City Weekly and newspapers in Washington and Idaho. More recently he’s been an active member of the Utah Newspaper Project, which works to preserve media diversity in the Beehive state.
Rone Tempest is a Utah-based reporter and contributor with four decades of experience including 26 years as a national and foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. Winner of numerous awards including the 2004 Pulitzer Prize as part of a team covering California wildfires and the 1997 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, Rone also taught from 2000-2006 at the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism where he was an I.F. Stone fellow. In 2008 he was co-founder of the Wyoming non-profit, public policy news site WyoFile.com where he served as editor from 2008-2011.
Brian Hart, besides supporting the Fourth Estate in Utah, also is active in the nonprofit community, serving as the Operations Director for the Work Activity Center, a long-standing Utah nonprofit that supports independent living for developmentally disabled adults by finding them job placement. He brings to The Project over 15 years of experience in running operations of both small and large companies.
Cathy McKitrick discovered her passion for journalism in midlife, fueled by a desire to write about social justice issues and to shine a light in dark places. Born in El Paso, TX, McKitrick lived in central Ohio as a teen, then moved to Ogden, Utah in 1976 where she put down roots and raised a family. After graduating from Weber State University in 1998, she reported for the Standard-Examiner and The Salt Lake Tribune. Her coverage included state and local government, politics, poverty, healthcare, suicide, the opioid epidemic and medical cannabis.
Emma Penrod is an award-winning investigative science journalist based in rural Utah who covers the intersections between science, business, and government policy. Her stories have appeared in Newsweek, Sierra magazine, News Deeply, the High Country News, and in diverse local media. She is known for her deep dives and longform journalism, and is the author of two books. She has also published peer-reviewed historical research, and is founder and director of the Tooele Valley Flute Choir. In her spare time she enjoys investigating guinea pig physiology, organic gardening, and vegetarian food.
Luke Ramseth has reported on healthcare, the environment and politics for newspapers including The Salt Lake Tribune and the Mississippi Clarion Ledger. He is a California native.
Ryan Trimble is a writer and photographer living in Utah. His writing has been featured in The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Stories, Unvael, Touchstones, and other publications. In 2017 Gallery East exhibited his collection of street portraits titled Cradle the Ache. His work has been called “a deep exploration of human perception.”