The Trace is pleased to announce that award-winning investigative reporter Sarah Ryley has joined the nonprofit news site’s growing investigative team as a staff writer. Ryley started at The Trace on April 10 — the same day she was honored with the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
“I’m thrilled to be joining The Trace to delve into such a critical issue with such a fantastic team of journalists,” Ryley said. “I can’t wait to get started.”
Ryley comes to The Trace from the New York Daily News, where she spent five years as editor and investigative reporter, primarily focused on criminal justice. Her Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation, produced in collaboration with ProPublica, exposed abuses in the New York Police Department’s use of “nuisance abatement” actions that can result in New Yorkers not convicted of a crime being forced out of their homes. Her investigation led to the passage of 13 laws intended to create protections for the accused, an internal NYPD investigation, and a class-action civil rights lawsuit.
Prior to her tenure at Daily News, Ryley was an investigative producer for the The Daily, where a series she reported revealing troubles at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services became the subject of a congressional hearing. She started as a beat reporter for Brooklyn Daily Eagle, covering real-estate development during the boom and bust cycle of the aughts. Her reporting helped save an Underground Railroad home from eminent domain and jumpstart the construction of the long-delayed Brooklyn Bridge Park.
“Sarah is a journalist whose work we’ve admired for a long time,” said James Burnett, The Trace’s editorial director. “Her investigations are built on a bedrock of exhaustive data reporting, shoe-leather interviewing, and unforgettable human details. We knew we were scoring a coup by hiring her. The fact that her first day here was the same day she received this much-deserved recognition is really the happiest of coincidences.”
Ryley is the latest addition to the investigative team that The Trace is building under deputy editor Ben Hallman, who joined the The Trace following an award-winning run as an investigative writer and editor at the Huffington Post. Ann Givens, an award-winning enterprise reporter, left NBC New York’s I-Team last November to take a staff writer position at The Trace. Rounding out The Trace’s writer corps are the incisive, hard-hitting quartet of Mike Spies, Alex Yablon, Elizabeth Van Brocklin, and investigative fellow Brian Freskos.
About the Trace
The Trace is an independent, nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to shining a light on America’s gun violence crisis. Every year in America, a firearm is used in nearly 500,000 crimes, resulting in the deaths and injuries of more than 110,000 people. Shootings devastate families and communities and drain billions of dollars from local, state, and federal governments. Meanwhile, the problem of gun violence has been compounded by another: the shortage of knowledge about the issue.
We believe that when an issue is shrouded by a knowledge gap, journalism can be a big part of the solution. As a nonprofit newsroom, The Trace is able to dedicate itself to in-depth reporting that doesn’t let up after the latest high-profile shooting leaves the front pages. We’re grateful to the journalists whose work has informed and inspired ours, and eager to be an ally to other newsrooms whose stories touch our beat. Since our launch in June 2015, we have partnered with 25 national and local media organizations, including The Atlantic, Slate, New York Daily News, Politico Magazine, Huffington Post, Tampa Bay Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Sun-Times, and the Guardian U.S.