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Sacha Pfeiffer, Cheryl W. Thompson Join Investigations Team; Howard Berkes To Retire

Today NPR announced the hiring of Sacha Pfeiffer and Cheryl W. Thompson as correspondents of its Investigations Team. Read more below in an note shared with newsroom staff by Robert Little, Edith Chapin, and Christopher Turpin.

We have news about important changes on the Investigations Team. The team is getting some new faces. Also, as part of our effort to deepen our commitment to reporting of depth, consequence and originality, we are creating a new opportunity for more journalists in the newsroom to work on investigative projects.

First, those new faces.

Sacha Pfeiffer (@SachaPfeiffer), currently of the Boston Globe's Spotlight team and previously of WBUR, will join NPR as an investigations correspondent at the end of November. Sacha was a member of the Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning team that exposed the Catholic Church's cover-up of clergy sex abuse, which spawned the film "Spotlight." She's also done groundbreaking work for the Globe exposing financial abuses of non-profit foundations, sexual misconduct in the modeling industry, shoddy home construction and other investigations. And, Sacha is an accomplished and award-winning radio veteran. At WBUR she was a frequent guest host of On Point, Here & Now and other shows, and will be in the mix to guest-host at NPR as well. She has anchored election coverage and special events, covered health, science and the environment as a reporter, and she's finishing up work now on a podcast for the Globe. Sacha will be based out of WGBH, but will be a regular in DC as well.

Cheryl W. Thompson (@cherylwt), associate professor of journalism at the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs and a contributing investigative reporter at The Washington Post, will also join the Investigations Team as a correspondent.

An Emmy Award-winning journalist, Cheryl is a former metro reporter, national reporter and White House correspondent for the Post.

Cheryl has been part of several blockbuster investigative projects, including a 2015 series on police shootings, a 2012 series examining more than 2,000 murders in Washington D.C., and a series on police officers killed with guns. 

Her stories in 2006 about Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson led to his conviction on corruption charges.

She is also a veteran lecturer and investigative reporting instructor who was named Educator of the Year last year by the NABJ and previously received the GW Honey Nashman Spark a Life Award for Faculty Member of the Year.

Cheryl is a longtime board member and the current board president of Investigative Reporters and Editors, and will join NPR in January.

On a sadder note – for us anyway – Howard Berkes has told us of his intention to retire, after 37 years. With a spectacular and award-winning career that has taken him to stories throughout the American West, to Olympic Games all over the world and to coal mines anywhere he can find them, Howard says he wants to explore the rivers and canyons of Utah with his wife, and not his microphone. Howard has won more than three dozen national journalism awards, including his incredible streak of four straight Edward R. Murrow Awards and four straight IRE Awards while on the Investigations Team. He's sticking around to finish up a project with PBS Frontline, and we'll find time later for a proper fete, but please join us in wishing him the best.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Edith Chapin is the Vice President and Executive Editor of NPR News. In that role she resumes responsibility for the NPR newsroom, setting daily news priorities, and directing all of NPR's news-gathering teams. She has full authority to work across the newsroom to ensure that desks, shows and digital teams are rowing in the same direction on major stories and coverage, so that NPR can be consistent and collaborative in our approach to news on all of our platforms.
Christopher Turpin is Chief of Staff at NPR. In this role, Turpin oversees NPR's Development division and activities, liaises with the News and Programming divisions and helps the CEO manage the operations of the executive team and critical projects.
Longtime investigative reporter and editor Robert Little leads NPR's investigations team, working with reporters, producers, and editors to develop investigative stories for all of NPR's broadcast and digital platforms. Since joining NPR in 2013, Little has directed and edited many of the network's signature investigative projects.
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