Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting is launching a new reporting initiative to examine how the poor and minorities fare in state courts around the country.

Impressive work – uncovering systemwide disparities and issues related to court fines, bail, jury selection and sentencing – already is being done. But what problems aren’t being identified? What stories aren’t being told?

We are looking for reporting proposals that dive deeply into a region or reach broadly across the country, particularly those with potential for radio. (If you have radio skills, that’s a plus.) We plan to establish reporting partnerships in some cases, award freelance contracts in others. This initiative will continue into 2017, so ambitious ideas are welcome.

Send us a one-page pitch that also addresses these basic questions:

  • Will this uncover a hidden problem and/or tell our audience something new?
  • Who is being harmed and how?
  • Can you quantify the problem?
  • Who is responsible, and can you prove it?

If you already have begun reporting on this topic or it builds on past work, include this information as well:

  • Who are some primary characters for the story?
  • Tell us about any tape you already have gathered.

If other outlets already have covered some of your story, please include links and a brief explanation of how your story will be different.

Email your pitches to me, Amy Pyle, Managing Editor, at, using “State Courts Pitch” in the subject line. Deadline: Dec. 17.

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Amy Pyle is editor in chief at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, guiding a team of editors, reporters and producers who produce unique in-depth national stories for the web, radio and video. Her primary goals are exposing wrongdoing and holding those responsible accountable, and increasing diversity in the ranks of investigative reporters. In the past year, CIR has established a fellowship program for aspiring investigative journalists of color and another for women filmmakers. Amy has worked at CIR since 2012, previously serving as a senior editor and managing editor. Rehab Racket, a collaboration with CNN that she managed on fraud in government-funded drug and alcohol rehabilitation, won the top broadcast award from Investigative Reporters and Editors. The Reveal radio version of an investigation she oversaw on an epidemic of opiate prescriptions at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs won a George Foster Peabody Award. Previously, as assistant managing editor for investigations at The Sacramento Bee, she managed “Chief's Disease,” a story about pension spiking at the California Highway Patrol, which won George Polk Award. Amy worked as a reporter and editor at the Los Angeles Times for more than a decade where, as assistant city editor, she directed coverage from the parking lot of the Times’ quake-damaged San Fernando Valley office in the early morning hours after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. That work earned the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for spot news reporting. Amy has a bachelor’s degree in French from Mills College and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.