By Nicholas Ibarra | OBSERVER Staff Writer
The Sacramento OBSERVER is pleased to welcome two journalists from the Report for America corps, data reporter Casey Murray and education reporter Srishti Prabha.
Both bring a set of diverse experiences and each is excited to dive into the warm and welcoming community that is Sacramento.
OBSERVER Editor-in-Chief Stephen Magagnini highlighted Prabha’s and Murray’s previous journalism experiences in an earlier announcement.
Prabha (they/them), 30, was born in Montreal, but raised in San José. They went to school at Northeastern University where they studied biology. Prabha’s position is in partnership with CapRadio, and their reporting will publish on both SacObserver.com and CapRadio.org.
After facing systemic sexism and racism in school, partnered with having a history of helping others by working in nonprofits, they realized that they wanted to push for change. Prabha discovered they could do this by becoming a journalist and has been writing for the last four years.
“When I’m not writing, I’m writing,” said Prabha, who is in the process of finishing their master’s thesis. They also like to practice different art forms, such as Kathak, an Indian classical dance, make earrings and paint.
When asked about what they hope to bring to the OBSERVER family and the Sacramento community, they cited their tenacity and persistence.
“I’m not the one offering anything,” Prabha said. “If anything, the community is offering me their stories, and I’m just a vehicle for amplifying that story.”
Murray, 23, was born and raised in Dallas and studied journalism and English at the University of Missouri.
She joined a film and news program in high school, sparking her interest in journalism. She really liked the connection that it brought to the community — informing people on exciting things that are happening and shining a light on things that need to be done — while also developing a love for research and data.
In her free time, Murray enjoys trying different vegan restaurants and finding new running trails.
Murray comes to The OBSERVER hoping to expand the scope of coverage and incorporate data into its storytelling.
“I’m happy to be here, I’m enjoying Sacramento and I love what I do,” she said. “I’m hoping to make The OBSERVER a source for great, original content.”
“I’m very excited about having not one, but two Report for America reporters in our newsroom,” said OBSERVER publisher Larry Lee. “This gives us a great opportunity to do some really substantive reporting on areas that are really important to our community.”
Lee understands the volatility and challenges that African Americans face when it comes to education in the region — high suspension rates within the Sacramento City Unified School District and the dynamic that race has on teachers — which is why he is excited about the attention and coverage that Prabha will provide.
He also is excited about the substance Murray’s data reporting will offer. He hopes that gathering data in areas such as health care, education, finance, economy and transportation better the community’s understanding of how data can drive solutions.
Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Report for America leverages a three-to-one regional funding match model, paying half of a corps members’ salary, while encouraging and supporting its local news organization partners to contribute one-quarter, and local and regional funders to contribute the final quarter. This approach promotes new models for shared investment in local journalism, increasing the chances of sustaining watchdog community reporting, for the community, by the community.
“We want to thank Report for America and their support for a newsroom like The OBSERVER,” Lee said. “For them to give us two grants that help fund our reporters really means a lot and we’re very excited about these additions to our newsroom and to our community.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you would like to contribute financially to these positions, follow this link for more information.