The AJC adds two Report for America journalists to assess pandemic’s impact

Donovan Thomas (left) and Timothy Pratt are joining the reporting staff for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which is a partner with Report for America.

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Donovan Thomas (left) and Timothy Pratt are joining the reporting staff for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which is a partner with Report for America.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is pleased to announce the hiring of two journalists as part of the newspaper’s partnership with Report for America.

Timothy Pratt and Donovan Thomas will be reporting on the long-term effects of the pandemic in Georgia and the state’s health care infrastructure.

Launched in 2017, Report for America is a growing national service program that arranges for journalists to work in local newsrooms to report on undercovered topics and communities.

“Report for America has an important mission boosting the number of reporters around the country and in states where more are needed, such as Georgia,” said Kevin Riley, editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We look forward to bringing our readers the important work of these journalists.”

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Donovan Thomas, a Report for America reporter with the AJC

Credit: Donovan Thomas

Donovan Thomas, a Report for America reporter with the AJC

Credit: Donovan Thomas

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Donovan Thomas, a Report for America reporter with the AJC

Credit: Donovan Thomas

Credit: Donovan Thomas

Thomas is a 2022 graduate of Howard University, where he studied journalism and Spanish, was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Hilltop and served as president of the sole student chapter of The Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting. Thomas most recently interned on the Washington Post’s metro desk, where he covered crime and courts. Before that, he interned at The New York Times on the investigations desk as an Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting intern and contributed to reporting on coronavirus and policing practices. His reporting on a team that investigated the disturbing pattern of fatal traffic stops by police earned a 2022 Pulitzer Prize. Thomas has four brothers and is originally from New Orleans. He loves Jeopardy!, ballet, the Saints and cooking.

“As a recent graduate of Howard University, it seems only fitting to leave one Mecca to start my professional career in another,” said Thomas, referring to both Atlanta and his alma mater being dubbed symbols of Black excellence. “Through my work with the AJC, I hope to connect with and tell the authentic stories of people from historically underrepresented and misrepresented communities.”

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Timothy Pratt, a Report for America reporter.

Credit: Timothy Pratt

Timothy Pratt, a Report for America reporter.

Credit: Timothy Pratt

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Timothy Pratt, a Report for America reporter.

Credit: Timothy Pratt

Credit: Timothy Pratt

Pratt has reported for the last 25 years, in English and Spanish, from Latin America and the U.S., on a range of subjects – including immigration, education, elections and voter suppression, race, homelessness, poverty, LGBTQ issues, science, culture and soccer. His work has appeared in dozens of outlets, including the New York Times, the Guardian, the Atlantic, AP and Reuters, Esquire, Scalawag and Suck.com. He has been a National Health Journalism Fellow, an Education Writers Association Reporting Fellow, a Marguerite Casey Foundation Fellow, among others, and the recipient of various awards, including one for a series in Spanish on how immigrant communities in Las Vegas experienced the 2010 World Cup, from the National Association of Hispanic Publications. He is also a writing coach and editor.

“It has become increasingly clear that the Coronavirus pandemic has both revealed and worsened existing inequities for marginalized communities across the nation – and that it continues to do so,” Pratt said. “I look forward to helping take a deeper dive into what that means here in Georgia, including how state and local government as well as the private sector have harmed or helped the most vulnerable, and why.”

The AJC’s current Report for America member, Lautaro Grinspan, has told important stories about Georgia’s immigrant communities, including safety concerns of workers in Georgia’s poultry industry, a “modern-day slavery” human trafficking operation on South Georgia farms, and personal stories such as one about a daughter mourning her mom’s COVID death – and trying to fill her shoes.

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the leading journalism organization in the Southeast, focuses its reporting staff on local matters and closely monitors state and local governments, the local economy, entertainment and sports.

Its journalists seek to uncover the truth, protect the public’s right to know and hold community leaders accountable for serving the public. Reporters, editors and photographers aggressively document the region’s moments, milestones and people. Every day, whether in print or on its digital and social platforms, the AJC informs and empowers its readers who value credible, in-depth journalism.

The newspaper traces its roots to 1868, the founding date of The Atlanta Constitution. The Atlanta Journal debuted in 1883. The papers have been under common ownership since 1950 and fully merged in 2001. The newspaper is owned by Cox Enterprises, a family-owned company that has been in Atlanta since 1939. While the newspaper is owned by a private company, its news decisions are made by the journalists in the AJC’s newsroom.

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