As TPR's news director, Katz leads the organization’s news and journalism efforts, overseeing the newsroom’s day-to-day management and the development of a strategic vision for the news division. He also serves on the organization’s executive leadership team.
TPR’s news team currently has 16 staff members, including reporters dedicated to in-depth coverage of subjects including arts & culture, bioscience & medicine, education, technology & entrepreneurship, military & veterans issues and state government. Previously, Katz served as the news director of WSHU Public Radio in Fairfield, Connecticut, and as a reporter, producer, and on-air host at WUFT in Gainesville, Florida.
San Antonio is known as the “gateway to the border.” It is the closest major city to the Rio Grande Valley and to commercial hubs in Laredo and Del Rio. Texas Public Radio has covered immigration and border issues for more than two decades but reporters have had to travel up to five hours each way in order to report many of these stories. The addition of TPR’s first-ever Immigration and U.S.-Mexico Border Reporter on January 1 enabled the TPR News team to utilize its institutional knowledge, to work better as a team and to comprehensively cover immigration issues.
Bonnie Petrie followed families who were reunited in San Antonio following their separation last summer. This was one of several pieces documenting these stories that were picked up by stations throughout Texas and NPR.
This covered the first of several abrupt releases of detained migrants. David Martin Davies captured the scene, and this report led to a series of stories exploring how ICE release policies impact migrants and the organizations that try to care for them.
These two pieces from Carson Frame documented President Trump’s decision to send troops to the border right before the 2018 midterm elections. Carson traveled to the Rio Grande Valley to listen to residents' opinions about the deployment, and then she returned three months later to gather their reactions and to analyze the legacy of the short-lived deployment.
This was the first story in our series "The Reality at the Border." The story took weeks of planning and effort to find real people who would be directly impacted by a proposed border wall. Reporting included views on both sides of the debate and an RGV resident who saw the wall built through her backyard. Our main source was the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against the federal government. Two of our sources in this story became go-to sources for our continuing coverage of how proposed border walls will affect communities in the Rio Grande Valley. The radio and video stories were picked up by NPR and aired nationally on All Things Considered.
Drag performers around the Rio Grande Valley gathered in Brownsville in front of existing border wall to host a peaceful protest and show their opposition to more border wall construction in the region. The event was also a stand in solidarity with LGBTQ asylum seekers.
Reynaldo Leaños Jr. reported from Brownsville for Charro Days, a multi-day annual event that commemorates the relationship between Brownsville and Matamoros, its sister city in Mexico. This story explored how some residents took a moment to reconnect with their Mexican roots, while others reflected on how much the border region changed in recent years.
This was a follow-up to "A Wall In My Backyard," the first story in the "Reality at the Border" series. This story examined how residents and municipalities responded to the federal government's use of eminent domain to build more wall in the Rio Grande Valley. This story was picked up nationally by NPR.
More than 1,500 people packed Temple Beth El in San Antonio Tuesday evening for an interfaith vigil to mourn the loss of 11 people killed over the weekend during the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh.
Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who trails Sen. Ted Cruz in the polls of a senate race that has garnered national attention, turned markedly more aggressive, while the two clashed on topics ranging from the judicial confirmation of Bret Kavanaugh and the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court to trade wars and border security Tuesday night in San Antonio.