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.

November 2019

Tuesday, November 5

Letters For Leniency: Katherine Kealoha’s Family And Friends Seek ‘Justice’

Friday, November 1

Why We Asked The Hawaii Supreme Court To Take Up The Case Of HPD Sgt. Darren Cachola

October 2019

Friday, October 4

What To Expect When You Submit A Community Voice

September 2019

Monday, September 16

Covering Climate Now

Why We Sent A Reporter To The Washington Woods To Find Tulsi Gabbard’s Consultant

Civil Beat Wins National Award For General Excellence

June 2019

Sunday, June 16

Civil Beat’s ‘Are We Ready?’ Project Wins Public Service Award

Wednesday, June 5

Federal Fisheries Council Has A Long History Of Secrecy

Monday, June 3

Conflicts, Lax Oversight Shroud This Secretive Fisheries Fund

May 2019

Friday, May 17

Here’s Why We Think Trisha Watson’s Kealoha Column Was Worth Publishing

Monday, May 13

Meet Our New Criminal Justice Reporter

April 2019

Friday, April 12

Honolulu Police Corruption: This Is Why We Rarely Rely On Anonymous Sources

March 2019

Friday, March 22

Political Mailers: Shamelessly Exploiting The News Media

Monday, March 18

Judge Orders Release Of More Records In Case Of HPD Officer Who Beat Girlfriend

February 2019

Tuesday, February 19

Judge: HPD Must Release Arbitration Report On Officer Who Beat Girlfriend

January 2019

Thursday, January 17

Journalism Grant Will Pump Up Our Health Care Coverage

Friday, January 11

Lawsuit Filed Against Honolulu Police Over Beach Park Shooting

Thursday, January 10

Super PAC Crackdown On The Agenda In 2019 Legislature