Mark Schoofs leaves ProPublica to head BuzzFeed’s investigative unit

Mark Schoofs, who joined ProPublica in 2011 after 11 years at the Wall Street Journal, has been named head of BuzzFeed’s new investigative team of six reporters.

Schoofs (credit: Lars Klove)

Schoofs (credit: Lars Klove)

BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith calls Schoofs “a brilliant reporter, teacher, storyteller with the sort of deep experience we need as we continue to expand the kind of rigorous reporting that people want to read and share.” Schoofs says “we plan to mix BuzzFeed’s energy, ambition and grasp of the social web with the best traditions of American investigative reporting to expose wrongdoing, hold people accountable and tell stories that need to be told.”

BuzzFeed’s release is after the jump.

Press release
BuzzFeed Hires Mark Schoofs To Lead Investigative Reporting Unit

Pulitzer Prize Winner To Manage Team of Investigative Reporters

New York, NY October 21, 2013 — BuzzFeed announced a major new investment in hard news with the creation of an investigations unit, led by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mark Schoofs. Schoofs will build and lead a new team of investigative reporters, and will work with BuzzFeed’s growing teams of journalists across a wide array of topics.

“Mark is the best in the business — a brilliant reporter, teacher, storyteller with the sort of deep experience we need as we continue to expand the kind of rigorous reporting that people want to read and share,” said Ben Smith, BuzzFeed’s Editor-in-Chief. “He’s a creative, entrepreneurial guy with long-ago roots in the vital gay press and an endless curiosity about the changing medium.”

“Jonah and Ben have created a news media juggernaut, and I’m thrilled to join it,” said Schoofs. “We plan to mix BuzzFeed’s energy, ambition and grasp of the social web with the best traditions of American investigative reporting to expose wrongdoing, hold people accountable and tell stories that need to be told.”

Schoofs will lead an investigative team of about half a dozen reporters, and will also bring his experience and skill to writers and editors across BuzzFeed’s 130-person newsroom. BuzzFeed intends to expand its investigative efforts as it has built its original reporting teams for almost two years: in line with the values and traditions of great investigative journalism, but without being wedded to traditional forms.

Mark Schoofs is currently a senior editor at ProPublica, a key institution in American investigative journalism, where he has been since 2011. Before that, he had worked for more than 11 years at The Wall Street Journal, where he was a foreign correspondent and an investigative reporter for Page One. Schoofs played a key role in investigations ranging from abuse and fraud in Medicare to the international methamphetamine trade. He contributed to the Journal’s coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks, which won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News. Prior to the Journal, Schoofs was a staff writer at The Village Voice, where he won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for his eight-part series on AIDS in Africa. He has also written for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Esquire, Out, and many other publications. Schoofs has reported from more than 25 countries on four continents. He holds two United States patents. He earned a B.A. in philosophy from Yale University, where he has also taught a seminar on journalism.

Schoofs will be based in New York and will start later this year.

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