Civil Beat Staff

Patti Epler

Patti Epler is the Editor and General Manager of Civil Beat.

Patti has been a reporter and editor since 1976. She began her career in Anchorage, Alaska, writing a column for The Anchorage Times and covering cops and courts in the frontier state at a time construction of the massive trans-Alaska pipeline was drawing thousands of young people north and opening up a new energy source for the country.

Patti moved to Hawaii in 1982 where she lived on a 41-foot sailboat in Keehi Lagoon and worked for Honolulu Magazine. She returned to Alaska in 1984 to a job covering the state’s booming oil and gas business, utilities, mining and environmental issues. In 1989, she was one of the lead reporters on the Exxon Valdez oil spill. She was also a member of the Anchorage Daily News team that won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal For Public Service for a series on alcoholism and self-destructive behavior among Alaska Natives.

In 1990, she and her family, including a young daughter, moved to Olympia, Washington, where Patti covered politics and the Legislature for the Tacoma News Tribune. In 1997, she moved to Phoenix, Arizona, and an editor’s job at the alt-weekly, Phoenix New Times. In 2004, she became projects editor and city editor at the East Valley Tribune, at the time the Phoenix metro area’s second largest daily paper. In 2008, Patti edited and directed that paper’s series on the immigration enforcement practices of a colorful local sheriff, an effort that was awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting.

She moved to the online news world in 2009, joining with other journalists to found the Arizona Guardian, a short-lived news site covering politics and government. In 2010, she returned to Alaska to work on another reporter-founded website, the Alaska Dispatch.

She was hired as Civil Beat’s deputy editor in September 2011 and was named Editor when former Editor John Temple left to take a job as managing editor of the Washington Post in April 2012.

Patti is an old-school investigative journalist in a new media world. She still values solid relationships with news sources and strong journalistic ethics. Like many of her colleagues, she’s been laid off (more than once) from what were once vibrant and thriving newspapers. She is now a true believer in online journalism and all that the internet has to offer news operations that embrace meaningful reporting and investigative and watchdog journalism to encourage community discussion of important civic and political issues. Those concepts are at the core of Civil Beat.

She’s always available to grab a cup of coffee and talk about Hawaii and story ideas.

You can follow Patti on twitter @PattiEpler. You can also email her at patti@civilbeat.org. Direct line is 808-377-0561.

December 2016

Monday, December 19

Covering The Trump Administration, Civil Beat-Style

Thursday, December 1

The Sex Lives Of Bees

November 2016

Tuesday, November 1

VIDEO: 3 Civil Questions For Kirk Caldwell And Charles Djou

October 2016

Friday, October 21

Civil Beat’s Work Is Honored By Local Groups

Thursday, October 13

Our New ‘Offshore’ Podcast: Hawaii’s Not Always Paradise

September 2016

Monday, September 19

Civil Beat’s Newest Intern Is Already Retired

Saturday, September 17

‘The Harbor’ Homeless Series Wins National Award

Tuesday, September 13

Edward Snowden Wants A Pardon

August 2016

Monday, August 29

New Civil Beat Initiative: Meet 3 Aspiring Young Hawaii Journalists

Monday, August 1

A Monk Seal Needs Help

July 2016

Friday, July 29

NextEra Buying Texas Utility

Monday, July 25

Here’s Your Chance To Comment On Our Commenting System

Thursday, July 14

What To Do When There Are Too Many Candidates In A Race

Monday, July 11

We’re Taking Election Coverage To The Town Square — Literally

Friday, July 1

Coming Tuesday: The History Of The Hawaiian Electric Co.

June 2016

Monday, June 27

Ben Nishimoto Is Our New Director Of Philanthropy

Saturday, June 25

Civil Beat Named Best Hawaii News Site For The 6th Year In A Row

Wednesday, June 8

Civil Beat: Finding Our Place In Hawaii’s Media Landscape

May 2016

Wednesday, May 18

Trolls Beware: Civil Beat Has A New Commenting System

March 2016

Monday, March 21

Patti Epler: Goodbye, Zuri Aki, We’ll Miss You

Monday, March 7

Patti Epler: ‘Spotlight’ Reminds Us Of What We Need To Be

February 2016

Friday, February 12

Pistol-Packing Solar Advocates?

Thursday, February 4

HPD’s New Assistant Chief Has A History Of Domestic Violence

January 2016

Friday, January 29

Gabbard To Gov: Declare Dengue Emergency

Thursday, January 28

Copter Cmdr Fired Days Before Crash

Monday, January 25

Patti Epler: Our Beef With The Donald Trump Campaign