Injustice Watch hires journalists David Kidwell and Kelly Garcia

David Kidwell joins the team as investigations editor, and Kelly Garcia returns to Injustice Watch as a reporter.

Side-by-side portraits. On the left, a young Latina woman poses outside in front of a tree. On the right, a white man with long grey hair, a grey beard, and glasses stands inside.

Kelly Garcia (left) and David Kidwell

Injustice Watch is excited to announce that veteran journalist David Kidwell and reporter Kelly Garcia are joining our team Jan. 9.

Kidwell joins Injustice Watch as our investigations editor, where he will lead major investigative projects and watchdog reporting about the court system. Most recently, he served as investigations editor at the Better Government Association, where he helped edit “The Failures Before the Fires,” a collaboration between the BGA and the Chicago Tribune that won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting.

Garcia, a 2021 Injustice Watch reporting resident, returns to our team as an investigative reporter covering the courts. Garcia was most recently a staff writer at the Chicago Reader, where she covered news and politics. In 2022, she was named the Chicago Emerging Journalist of the Year by the Chicago Journalists Association for her reporting on the private music festivals occupying Douglass Park.

“This is an exciting period of growth for our newsroom, and I’m so excited for David and Kelly to join our team,” said Injustice Watch Managing Editor Jonah Newman. “They are both exceptional journalists who bring a strong sense of mission and purpose to their work.”

An Illinois native, Kidwell has lived in Chicago since 2005, when he joined the Tribune as an investigative reporter. At the Tribune, he exposed a $2 million bribery scandal at the heart of Chicago’s red light camera program and broke numerous stories about corruption tied to then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

His 35-year journalism career also includes 15 years at the Miami Herald, during which he won numerous prizes and awards, including the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news as part of a team covering the case of Elián González.

“David Kidwell’s track record of impactful investigations in the public interest is extraordinary,” said Juliet Sorensen, Injustice Watch’s executive director. “I look forward to the innovative and groundbreaking investigations that Injustice Watch will publish with his editorial guidance.”

“I am thrilled to join this growing team of great journalists,” Kidwell said. “Everything I know about my new colleagues makes me eager to get started.”

As a summer reporting resident at Injustice Watch, Garcia worked on our judicial election guides and wrote stories about the Cook County juvenile detention center and the domestic violence court. In January 2022, Injustice Watch and the Chicago Reader published her investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by former Judge Raúl Vega. Garcia has also written for The TRiiBE, South Side Weekly, and The Daily Line, and she was a City Bureau civic reporting fellow in 2020.

“I’m excited to come back to Injustice Watch, where as a reporting resident I learned how to be collaborative, persistent, and detailed in my work,” she said.

“Kelly’s reporting is outstanding and reflects her commitment to centering people and communities who are directly affected by the topics she’s covering,” Sorensen said. “We’re thrilled to welcome her back to Injustice Watch.”