Principal Executive, Co-founder
Irene McKisson spent 18 years in local news at the Arizona Daily Star where she started as a sports designer and copy editor and became the General Manager of Niche Audience Development, co-founding and editing #ThisIsTucson. She is a past ONA speaker and member of the Women’s Leadership Accelerator cohort; a participant and speaker in Google News Initiative programs including the Google Audience Lab, GNI Innovation Challenge and GNI Startup Boot Camp with LION; she is a GNI fellow in the 2022 class of the Media Transformation Challenge at Poynter and among the recipients of a 2019 Tow Center for Digital Journalism research grant. She is an adjunct instructor at the University of Arizona, a mother, reader, baker and AP Style nerd. She was born in Tucson and plans to stay forever.
Dianna M. Náñez
Executive Editor, Co-founder
Dianna M. Náñez is an investigative journalist, narrative writer/editor and storytelling coach whose story of Indigenous and borderlands communities was part of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning Arizona Republic team coverage. She served as a board member for NAHJ and is a member of the 2017 cohort of ASNE’s Emerging Leaders Institute. She’s a frequent public speaker for journalism and community forums, taught journalism ethics and diversity at ASU and is an expert in workplace standards for mentorship, diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging. When she’s not in hype-woman mode or ruminating on life and news, she’s channeling her Mexican ancestors, talking to birds, and eating tacos weekly and menudo on Sundays with her familia.
Operations Executive, Co-founder
Becky Pallack was a reporter at the Arizona Daily Star and the Arizona Daily Sun and she has covered just about any topic you can think of. She’s a three-time winner of the Arizona Newspapers Association’s Freedom of Information Award. She was co-founder of #ThisIsTucson, and she and Irene are among the winners of the 2019 Google News Initiative’s Innovation Challenge. Becky was a 2020 fellow at the NewStart local news ownership initiative at West Virginia University. She has volunteered with the Arizona Press Club, local startup communities, Girl Scouts, and Saguaro National Park. She grew up in Yuma and lives in Tucson with her partner and her trusty sidekick, Rocket Dog.
Carolina Cuellar is a bilingual journalist based in Tucson covering Southern Arizona. Previously she reported on border and immigration issues in the Rio Grande Valley for Texas Public Radio. Her work has appeared in news outlets such as National Public Radio and ABC News. She has an M.S. in Science Communication and worked as a laboratory researcher before pivoting to journalism.
Chelsea Curtis is a Diné (Navajo) journalist covering the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Two-Spirit and Transgender People injustice in Arizona. Her reporting is supported by the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Fund for Indigenous Journalists: Reporting on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Two Spirit and Transgender People. She previously covered criminal justice topics and breaking news as a reporter at The Arizona Republic and a wide range of community news at Today’s News-Herald (Lake Havasu City) and the Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff). She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northern Arizona University.
John Washington is an investigative journalist with a focus on immigration and borders, as well as criminal justice and literature. His first book, “The Dispossessed: A Story of Asylum at the US-Mexico Border and Beyond,” was published in 2020 by Verso Books. Washington is also a translator, having co-translated, most recently, “The Hollywood Kid,” by Óscar Martínez and Juan Martínez, and “Blood Barrios,” by Alberto Arce, which won a PEN Translates Award. He has been living in and out of Tucson since 2008. Find more of his work at www.jblackburnwashington.com.
Yana Kunichoff is a reporter and documentary producer currently based in Phoenix, Arizona. She has covered education for The Arizona Republic and Chalkbeat Chicago, worked as a special projects editor for Migratory Notes newsletter, produced a feature-length documentary on the experience of elderly prisoners in Illinois jails and overseen a team of reporters as an editor at The Moscow Times. Her investigation into the Chicago police union’s misinformation about fatal police shootings won a March 2016 Sidney Hillman award. In her free time, you can find Yana climbing rocks and reading books, all preferably outside.
Beatriz Limón is an award-winning print and photojournalist who has been a correspondent in Arizona and New Mexico for Agencia EFE, the world’s largest Spanish-language newswire organization and fourth largest global wire service in any language. She is a regular columnist for the Mexican newspaper El Imparcial and a contributor to palabra., a digital news site launched by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists to offer in-depth journalism that fully and fairly reflects Latino/a/x communities. She worked at The Arizona Republic’s Latino-focused publication La Voz, where she earned numerous Arizona Press Club recognitions. Her photojournalism has won awards from The Photographic Society of America. Beatriz was an editor and investigative journalist for leading Mexico newspapers La Crónica and Frontera.
Michael McKisson is an award-winning multimedia journalist and Associate Professor of Practice in the University of Arizona School of Information. McKisson specializes in digital storytelling, drone journalism and photography. Prior to becoming an educator, he founded BicycleTucson.com, an online news site devoted to reporting about Tucson’s bicycle infrastructure and community. He is currently producing a multimedia project called #EveryStreetTucson, biking all 2,800 miles of Tucson streets and documenting it through mapping, street photography and aerial images. McKisson’s work has appeared on PBS Newshour, Arizona Illustrated – AZPM, AZ Luminaria and more.