Guardian US announces creation of new investigations unit, with Michael Hudson as first-ever U.S. head of investigations


Guardian US today announced the creation of its first-ever investigations team, to be led by Michael Hudson, most recently senior editor at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Hudson will lead a new editorial unit to investigate corporate and government misconduct, attacks on human rights and other urgent challenges facing the United States. He starts Oct. 2.

Also today, Guardian US announced that UK Investigations correspondent Stephanie Kirchgaessner will be moving into a new role as deputy head of investigations for the U.S., and that Will Craft — most recently of American Public Media — will serve as data editor. U.S. Southern Bureau Chief Oliver Laughland will also be joining the team, serving as investigative correspondent while continuing his multimedia and narrative journalism. Guardian US is now conducting a search to fill two additional positions — an investigative reporter and a senior investigative reporter — on the new unit.

U.S. Head of Investigations Michael Hudson has been a senior editor at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists over two tours totaling nearly a decade. He worked as a reporter, writer and editor on ICIJ’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Panama Papers investigation. From 2017-2019, Hudson was global investigations editor at The Associated Press, where he edited the AP’s Pulitzer-winning investigation of war crimes and corruption in Yemen and helped edit the AP’s coverage of the U.S. immigration crisis, which was a Pulitzer Finalist and was also honored with a Robert F. Kennedy Award. He previously worked as a reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, The Wall Street Journal and the Roanoke (Virginia) Times. Hudson, who spent more than a decade investigating the U.S. subprime mortgage industry, is the author of "The Monster: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America — and Spawned a Global Crisis" (Times Books, 2010).

Deputy Head of Investigations Stephanie Kirchgaessner has served as a Washington, D.C.-based correspondent for The Guardian’s investigations team since 2018, including as the lead Guardian reporter on the Polk Award-winning The Pegasus project, which revealed the widespread abuse of hacking software sold by an Israeli surveillance company. In 2020 and 2021, she won the Technology Prize at the British Journalism Awards, and was honored as the 2020 Technology Journalist of the Year at the UK Press Awards for her coverage of surveillance technology. Prior to her posting in Washington, she served as The Guardian’s Rome correspondent, after more than a decade politics, business and media at the Financial Times.

From 2015 until recently, Data Editor Will Craft worked as an investigative data reporter for APM Reports, an investigative arm of American Public Media. Craft provided reported data for numerous award-winning investigations, including many cited by briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court, the EPA and other government entities. He was a key reporter and contributor to the podcast "In the Dark" — notably on Season 2, for which Craft built a massive dataset on jury selection to investigate whether racism played a role in the prosecution of Curtis Flowers, a man tried six times for the same crime. In 2019, the Supreme Court overturned Curtis’ latest conviction.

U.S. Editor Betsy Reed said: “Throughout his distinguished career, Mike Hudson has dedicated his talent and passion to uncovering facts that powerful institutions would prefer to keep hidden. He has trained his sights on the biggest abusers of power from Wall Street to Washington. I’m thrilled to welcome him to The Guardian US as our new head of investigations and I am excited about the extraordinary team he is building. Stephanie Kirchgaessner has already produced a string of important scoops for the Guardian, from the Pegasus project to her recent stories on the Supreme Court. With her tenacious reporting and editing, Will Craft’s data acumen, and Oliver Laughland’s storytelling and reporting talents, our unit’s prospects are bright, building on the Guardian’s strong commitment to investigative journalism.”

Michael Hudson said: “I’m thrilled to help launch the Guardian US’s first investigations team, and to have a chance to work with Stephanie, Will, Oliver and the rest of the Guardian’s world-class U.S. newsroom. This organization has a track record for enterprising and fearless journalism, and a clear vision for progress and growth amid difficult times in the news business. Betsy and I look forward to bringing even more investigative forces onto the team.”

About The Guardian:

Guardian US has around 90 members of editorial staff across bureaus in New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. In 2022, Guardian US averaged 41 million unique visitors per month and has over 220,000 recurring supporters and digital subscribers in the U.S.


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