Civil Beat Staff

Jessica Terrell

Jessica Terrell was a deputy editor at Civil Beat.

Jessica joined Civil Beat in 2015, after reporting stints at the Orange County Register in California and Tribeca Trib in New York City. 

She served as the lead reporter and then editor of Civil Beat’s Offshore Podcast, which launched in 2016. The podcast received 2020 and 2018 Eppy awards, as well as recognition from the Asian American Journalists Association, Best of the West, and Religion News Association.

Her 2015 series, “The Harbor,” about life in Hawaii’s largest homeless encampment, garnered a first place Online News Association award for small newsroom feature. The project also received an honorable mention from the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism. She is a member of ONA’s 2018 Women’s Leadership Accelerator cohort.

As a reporter, Jessica has investigated everything from school safety concerns to faulty public works projects and military recruitment irregularities. She’s covered two national political conventions, and filed stories from the White House during President Barack Obama’s first summer in office.

Other memorable reporting assignments include camping out overnight in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park for a story on Occupy Wall Street, visiting the National Sept. 11 Memorial before it opened with members of Manhattan’s Community Board 1, and climbing 36 flights of stairs in the dark after Hurricane Sandy to find her editor and start reporting on the impacts of the storm in lower Manhattan.

Jessica spent much of her childhood traveling around North America. She wrote her first newspaper article at the age of 12 for a small paper in Massachusetts, where her family was living aboard a 50-foot raft built out of materials collected from New York City dumpsters.

When her family wasn’t building rafts, they were performing together in circuses and busking on the streets as a family jazz band. Spending her early years wandering from town to town imbued her with a passion for discovery that she tries to translate into work as a journalist.

Climate Change Is A Big Problem For Farmers In Hawaii Tim Wright/Civil Beat/2021

Climate Change Is A Big Problem For Farmers In Hawaii

More fires. Worse drought. Excessive heat. The state’s agriculture industry is facing serious environmental problems in the years ahead.

How Do You Build A Community From Scratch? This Homeless Advocate Is Trying Jessica Terrell/Civil Beat/2021

How Do You Build A Community From Scratch? This Homeless Advocate Is Trying

The homeless community that has long occupied space next to the Waianae Boat Harbor has big plans to move to permanent homes at a new site.

The State Does A Lot To Help Farmers In Hawaii. But It’s Not Enough Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

The State Does A Lot To Help Farmers In Hawaii. But It’s Not Enough

Farmers need better technology, data and transportation subsidies if Hawaii’s agricultural industry is going to grow substantially in the coming decades.

Makemake Anei ʻOe E Emi Mai Ko Hawaiʻi Kaukaʻi ʻAna I Ka ʻAi Hoʻopae ʻIa? E Hoʻololi I Kāu Papaʻai Claire Caulfield/Civil Beat

Makemake Anei ʻOe E Emi Mai Ko Hawaiʻi Kaukaʻi ʻAna I Ka ʻAi Hoʻopae ʻIa? E Hoʻololi I Kāu Papaʻai

ʻAʻole loa ʻo Hawaiʻi e lilo ana he wahi nāna e hoʻoulu nui i ka huika a laiki paha, he nui lehulehu naʻe nā mea ʻē aʻe e kanu kūloko ʻia.

Want Hawaii To Be Less Dependent On Imported Food? Change Your Diet Claire Caulfield/Civil Beat

Want Hawaii To Be Less Dependent On Imported Food? Change Your Diet

Hawaii will never be a big producer of wheat or rice, but there are plenty of homegrown alternatives.

ʻŌlelo Nā Kamaʻāina No Oʻahu Komohana I Ke Kuhihewa A Ka Nūhou I Ko Lākou Kaiāpuni. Makemake Mākou E Hoʻololi I Kēlā Kuʻu Kauanoe/Civil Beat

ʻŌlelo Nā Kamaʻāina No Oʻahu Komohana I Ke Kuhihewa A Ka Nūhou I Ko Lākou Kaiāpuni. Makemake Mākou E Hoʻololi I Kēlā

E hoʻololi ana ʻo Civil Beat i kā lākou kaʻina hana ma ke kūkala nūhou ʻana e pili ana i ka ʻaoʻao komohana ma o ka hoʻopili kanaka a me ke koho moʻolelo ʻana e hōʻike pono ʻia ai ke kapakai komohana o Oʻahu. 

West Oahu Residents Say The Media Is Getting Their Community All Wrong. We Want To Change That Kuʻu Kauanoe/Civil Beat

West Oahu Residents Say The Media Is Getting Their Community All Wrong. We Want To Change That

Civil Beat is taking a new approach to our coverage of the Westside with deep engagement and stories that better reflect the west coast of Oahu.

Civil Beat Is Ending Its Daily Virus Tracker. Here’s Why Ronen Zilberman/Civil Beat

Civil Beat Is Ending Its Daily Virus Tracker. Here’s Why

Experts agree that tracking trends is more useful than focusing on daily infection counts.

The How And Why Behind Civil Beat’s Daily Virus Tracker Civil Beat

The How And Why Behind Civil Beat’s Daily Virus Tracker

There’s a lot more information available about COVID-19 cases, but people still want to know how many people in the state are testing positive each day for the virus.