The Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to accountability reporting in Arizona. From issues such as corruption to government waste to immigration to the environment, AZCIR holds people and organizations accountable for the things that matter in Arizona. We do this through innovative, interactive and in-depth investigative reporting that is published digitally on www.AZCIR.org and through partnerships with other Arizona news outlets.
AZCIR has so far relied on foundation grants and individual donations. We are working to shift this to a sustainable business model with a community-supported structure in which our daily operations are funded by community donations, media partnerships, events and investigative journalism training seminars.
Brandon Quester is the co-founder and executive director of the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting. He is an investigative reporter and multimedia journalist who in 2012 completed a master’s degree at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Previously, Quester worked for various newspapers and journalism projects here and abroad. He has focused on issues such as children living along the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. soldiers serving in Kuwait and Iraq and street children living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. His work has appeared in news organizations such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Center for Public Integrity, and El Nuevo Herald.
Tarryn Mento is a freelance reporter for the Arizona Center for Investigative reporting and a web producer for KPBS-San Diego. Prior to joining AZCIR, Tarryn was a Pulliam Fellow at The Arizona Republic and a video journalist for the national campaign “Face the Facts USA.” She completed her master’s degree at ASU’s Cronkite School, where she was a Carnegie-Knight News 21 Fellow for an investigation into food safety. She also was part of a team of student journalists who reported on the Dominican Republic’s stateless population, which was recognized by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.
Rachel Leingang is a graduate student at the Cronkite School. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and international studies from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. In 2013, Leingang was a News21 Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Fellow, where she reported on the challenges facing post-9/11 veterans. She also has reported on border issues related to Mexico and Canada. Outside journalism, she was an AmeriCorps project coordinator for a mentoring program at Washington State University.
Mauro Whiteman is a senior at ASU’s Cronkite School, where he is completing a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in mass communication concurrently. He also is pursuing certificates in International Studies and Religion and Conflict. He has reported for Reuters News Service in San Francisco and is executive editor of the Downtown Devil, a student-run news website in Phoenix. Whiteman was a 2013 News21 fellow for an investigation into the challenges facing post-9/11 veterans.
Holly Brown is an undergraduate student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU’s Tempe campus. She is working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and Geographic Information Sciences (GIS). As AZCIR’s spatial analysis and GIS intern, Brown collects, maintains and analyzes geographic information and then identifies trends and relationships in data. She also builds components such as maps and digital interactives for AZCIR’s investigations.
Jon LaFlamme is a senior at ASU’s Cronkite School where he focuses on multimedia reporting with an emphasis on accountability journalism. He will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in May 2014. He has reported on topics ranging from Medicaid expansion and fraud enforcement to election legislation in the Arizona Capitol. He has contributed articles to the student-led publication Downtown Devil and The Arizona Republic.
Connor Radnovich is a senior at ASU’s Cronkite School, where he is completing a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in mass communication. Radnovich has worked for news publications such as the Financial Times, The Seattle Times and The Arizona Republic. He has reported on immigration from Washington, D.C., and wildfires in eastern Arizona. Along with working for AZCIR, Radnovich is the editor-in-chief of Downtown Devil, a student-run online news publication covering downtown Phoenix.
David Ryan is a junior at ASU’s Cronkite School. David studied at the school’s New Media Innovation Lab for two semesters working on smartphone apps and web services. He currently works as an IT professional at Forrester Research, and previously interned with New England Cable News as a web producer.
Olivia Makinson studied public relations at ASU’s Cronkite School. She has worked on campaigns for a variety of companies ranging from nonprofits and food and beverage organizations to clients from hospitality, fashion and home furnishing industries. Prior to that, Makinson interned for PBS, the Las Vegas Review Journal and Class! Magazine.