KUER 90.1, Utah’s statewide NPR affiliate, has hired veteran investigative journalist Andrew Becker to direct its newsroom.
Becker spent more than a decade covering border, homeland and national security issues, most recently for The Center for Investigative Reporting + Reveal in the San Francisco Bay Area. His reporting has focused on waste, fraud and abuse. His stories have ranged from corruption and the expanding use of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles along the U.S.-Mexico border to the militarization of police and the intersection of politics and policy related to immigration, terrorism and drug trafficking.
“I couldn’t be more excited to join KUER’s newsroom and lead its enterprising team of smart, talented journalists,” Becker said. “I’ve been impressed by their hunger to dig into local and regional issues, to tell compelling, impactful stories and to practice the kind of vital reporting that informs the public — and public debate. I can’t wait to work with them.”
Becker’s work at Reveal was honored recently by Best in the West when Up Against the Wall took first place in podcasting. A recent transplant to Salt Lake City, Becker started working on a regionally focused investigative podcast for KUER in January. That project, The Monarch, is still in production. Listeners can catch a sneak preview at True Stories, a night of live, non-fiction, presented by Utah journalists at the State Room on May 15 at 7:30.
“It’s an exciting time in journalism and the right time to invest in the highest quality local news,” said KUER General Manager Maria O’Mara. “KUER’s newsroom is larger than it’s ever been and now has the leadership necessary to tackle the most important stories in our communities.”
Becker’s reporting has also appeared in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones and on National Public Radio and PBS/FRONTLINE, among others. His work has spurred congressional action, been cited in U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. District Court briefs, resulted in White House meetings and highlighted by John Oliver on “Last Week Tonight.”
Recent honors include a National Emmy nomination and awards from the Online Journalism Association and Society of Professional Journalists. He has won fellowships from John Jay College in New York City and the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He also sits on an advisory board for the National Center on Disability and Journalism, based at Arizona State University. He received a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley. Follow him on Twitter @beckereports and @abeckerkuer.
KUER’s Managing Editor, Julia Ritchey (@juliaritchey), will continue in her leadership role in the newsroom. Ritchey came to Utah from KUNR in Reno in October 2016, quickly earning a loyal following among listeners and on social media for her political reporting. She co-hosted the second season of KUER’s podcast 45 Days, covering the Utah Legislature, earlier this year.