WBUR announced today that it has hired award-winning journalist Christine Willmsen as senior investigative editor and reporter. In the newly created position funded by The Campaign for WBUR, Willmsen will lead a team comprised of an investigative reporter and a data analysis and visualization journalist to launch a new investigative reporting vertical.
“We are thrilled to have Christine join our team to lead our new investigative reporting vertical,” said WBUR executive news director Tom Melville. “As WBUR continues to expand its reporting, we will leverage Christine’s extensive experience as an accomplished investigative reporter to bring in-depth stories to our listeners. Christine shares our commitment to providing comprehensive and informative news to our community about our community.”
Under Willmsen’s leadership, the investigative team will collaborate to produce deeply-reported stories about subjects that affect the lives of people living in New England. With Boston serving as the hub of many federal and state agencies, the new team will delve into issues such as the environment, criminal justice, social services and public infrastructure. In addition, Willmsen will develop a watchdog culture in WBUR’s newsroom by teaching investigative skills to other journalists.
“Now, more than ever, our country and our region need accountability in journalism,” said Willmsen. “It is my hope to turn WBUR into a destination for New Englanders to find high-quality investigative projects that span across media platforms from the airwaves to the website and beyond. My goal is to create meaningful impact in the Boston-area, and I am especially excited to have the opportunity to build a team that will share this same passion as well as to collaborate with the WBUR newsroom.”
Willmsen joins WBUR after sixteen years as an investigative reporter at The Seattle Times. With more than twenty years of experience in content creation and communications, Willmsen is a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and a member of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning team at The Seattle Times for coverage following the murder of four police officers in a coffee shop and the ensuing manhunt to capture the killer. In 2015, she was selected as one of twenty-three journalists worldwide for a one-year Nieman Foundation Fellowship at Harvard University to study the future of journalism, digital innovation and data science. Willmsen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Spanish from Simpson College. She is originally from Marion, Iowa.
The Campaign for WBUR, the organization’s first-ever capital campaign with an unprecedented $40 million, supports three key investment areas: CitySpace, Expanding Journalism for Boston and the Nation, and Ensuring the Future Through Innovation. Specific journalistic endeavors include increased environmental reporting, investigative journalism, arts and culture reporting, education reporting and local newsroom fellowships to hire and train the next generation of public media journalists. The innovation funding supports WBUR’s iLab and BizLab to ensure the sustainability of public radio in today’s ever-evolving media environment. At the heart of the entire Campaign for WBUR is an unrelenting focus on independent journalism.