Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief

Jim Morris is founder of Public Health Watch and has been a journalist since 1978, focusing on public health and the environment. He has received more than 80 awards for his work, including the George Polk award, the Sidney Hillman award, three National Association of Science Writers awards, two national Edward R. Murrow awards and five Texas Headliners awards. Morris spent more than 13 years with the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative news organization in Washington, D.C., as a senior reporter, managing editor, acting CEO and executive editor. While there, he directed a global investigation of the asbestos industry that won the John B. Oakes award for environmental reporting from Columbia University and an IRE Medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors in 2011. In 2013, Morris and two colleagues received the Edgar A. Poe award for national reporting from the White House Correspondents’ Association for “Hard Labor,” a series on health and safety threats to American workers. Morris helped edit “Breathless and Burdened,” a 2013 investigation into the flawed federal black lung benefits program that won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. He conceived, and was a lead writer on, the 2014 series “Big Oil, Bad Air,” a collaboration with InsideClimate News and The Weather Channel that garnered 10 national awards for its revelations about toxic air emissions from hydraulic fracturing. Morris has worked for newspapers in Texas and California as well as publications such as U.S. News & World Report and Congressional Quarterly in Washington. He can be reached at jmorris@publichealthwatch.org.

Contributing Editors

David Fritze assists Public Health Watch in content and operational areas, including editing, audience engagement, fundraising, website and social media operations, visuals and general consulting. He was executive editor of the award-winning investigative news organization Oklahoma Watch from 2012 to 2020, leading its growth in audience, funding and impact. Previously he was an editor and reporter at The Arizona Republic for two decades, serving as an enterprise, business, metro and national editor. Before then, he was a reporter at the Dallas Times Herald and an editor and writer at Oklahoma Monthly magazine. He can be reached at dfritze@publichealthwatch.org.

Susan White is an independent investigative editor who has edited three Pulitzer Prize-winning projects. She was the first assigning editor hired by ProPublica, where she edited Sheri Fink’s Pulitzer-winning “Five Days at Memorial,” about the collapse of health care at a New Orleans hospital in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. At ProPublica she also edited groundbreaking reporting on hydraulic fracturing, which won a George Polk Award for environmental reporting. As executive editor of InsideClimate News, she edited its Pulitzer-winning project “The Dilbit Disaster: Inside the Biggest Oil Spill You’ve Never Heard of.” At the San Diego Union-Tribune she was an editor on the project that sent former Congressman Randy Cunningham to prison for tax evasion and conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud and wire fraud.

Contributing Writers

Casey Beck is a professor at Tulane University and an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her debut short film Mongolia: Land Without Fences premiered online on Frontline/World in 2007. After completing a Fulbright scholarship in Argentina, she was the first unit director of Ballplayer: Pelotero, a New York Times’ Critics Pick. Beck’s films about water contamination, Downstream (2018) and The Great Divide (2020), have won numerous awards and been screened around the globe.

Mary Cardaras has been a journalist for more than 40 years and is an associate professor and chair of communication at California State University, East Bay, where she teaches journalism, documentary production and political communication courses. She holds a Ph.D. in public and international affairs and is the recipient of two Emmy awards. Her latest documentary projects include Sunday Dinner, which was featured at the Center for Asian American Media in San Francisco; Downstream, and The Great Divide.

Kim Krisberg is an Austin-based journalist with 20 years of experience reporting on public health science, practice and policy. She’s a longtime contributor to The Nation’s Health newspaper at the American Public Health Association, and her work has appeared in publications such as Austin Monthly, Medscape, The Washington Blade, The Pump Handle and Texas Hospitals. She can be reached at kkrisberg@publichealthwatch.org.

David Leffler is an Austin-based journalist whose areas of focus include politics and long-form feature writing. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Texas Observer and Texas Monthly. He can be reached at dleffler@publichealthwatch.org.

Melba Newsome is an award-winning freelance writer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has more than 20 years of experience writing about health, science, education and the environment for national publications. She is a recipient of the June Roth Award for Medical Journalism and was a 2021 Association of Health Care Journalists Commonwealth fellow for Reporting on Health Care Performance.

Savanna Strott is a contributing writer based in Las Vegas. A recent graduate of American University, Savanna previously interned at AU’s Investigative Reporting Workshop and The Nevada Independent. She can be reached at sstrott@publichealthwatch.org.

Mary Tuma is an Austin-based journalist who focuses on reproductive rights. Her reporting has appeared in The Guardian, VICE, the Texas Observer, Rewire News Group, HuffPost, The Progressive, Ms. Magazine, and more. She worked as a staff reporter for The Austin Chronicle, San Antonio Current and The American Independent News Network.

Daisy Yuhas is a science journalist and editor based in Austin. She is an editor for Scientific American’s “Mind Matters” column, which explores insights from brain and behavioral science. Previously, she has served as features editor for SAPIENS magazine, a columnist for The Hechinger Report, and an associate editor at Scientific American, where she edited stories for Scientific American MIND. Daisy has written for publications that include The New York Times for Kids, Audubon magazine, NBC News and Newsweek.