DJC Partner Bios

Bridge Magazine

Chastity Pratt Dawsey covers Michigan’s cities and urban affairs for Bridge Magazine. She joined the Bridge team from The Detroit Free Press after more than a decade of providing authoritative coverage of Detroit Public Schools. She has broken many of the biggest stories regarding education in the state’s largest city over the past decade. Pratt Dawsey’s work also has appeared in USA Today, Essence Magazine and the Investigative Reporters & Editors Journal. Before the Free Press, the native Detroiter was a reporter at Newsday in Long Island, NY, and The Oregonian newspaper in Portland. She started her career as an intern at The New York Times. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Communications from the University of Michigan. You can reach Chastity via email, or call her at 313-310-7867.

Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Mike Wilkinson

Mike Wilkinson is Bridge Magazine’s computer-assisted reporting specialist. Mike performed a similar role at The Detroit News, where his work showed, for instance, that just under half of all Detroit property owners paid their annual tax bills. He was also part of a team at The Blade of Toledo that won national honors, including the National Headliner and Gerald Loeb awards, for exposing widespread political corruption in a scandal that came to be known as Coingate. The stories led to political reform in Ohio state government. You can reach Mike via email, or call him at 313-815-7068.

Bridge Magazine Detroit Editor Joel Kurth has spent more than two decades in journalism in Michigan. He worked 17 years as an editor and reporter at The Detroit News, the last five of which he served as editor of investigations and projects. He’s overseen projects that prompted a reassessment of property taxes in Detroit, uncovered chronic use of dirty surgical instruments at one of Michigan’s biggest hospital systems, changed laws about tax foreclosure sales and led numerous investigations into municipal corruption. Kurth also worked at The Saginaw News and in the Upper Pensinsula and has won more than 25 state and national journalism awards, including being co-winner of separate “Journalist of the Year” awards in 2016 from the Michigan Press Association and Detroit Society of Professional Journalists. You can reach Joel via email, or call him at 313-744-3749.

Joel Kurth


Sandra Svoboda

Special Assignments Manager/Bankruptcy Reporter

A nine-month stint with The Associated Press brought Sandra to Detroit…26 years ago. She has a bachelor’s in journalism and history from Indiana University, along the way she added a master’s in public administration (Wayne State University) and is nearly finished with a master’s in library and information science (digital architecture and archival administration). Sandra has worked for The (Toledo) Blade covering education/children’s issues, Detroit’s Metro Times and FEMA, where she deployed to Louisiana to help coordinate/communicate about community rebuilding/planning efforts for/after disasters. Sandra has won awards for broadcast, print, digital and community engagement work from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, State Bar of Michigan, Michigan Press Association and Society of Professional Journalists-Detroit chapter. WSU’s Public Administration program named her Alum of the Year in 2015 for her WDET work covering Detroit’s bankruptcy. Sandra teaches adjunct faculty at Wayne State (political science) and UM-Dearborn (graduate public administration program). She volunteers with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit and on the Common Cause Michigan advisory board. She loves her husband, dog, bicycle, usually in that order. Find her sailing on the Detroit River in her spare time.   Follow @WDETSandra


Bill Kubota

Senior Producer, Detroit Public Television’s One Detroit.

Bill has produced, written, directed and lensed local, regional and national documentaries for broadcast since the 1980s. His national projects include co-producing the Dupont Columbia Journalism award-winning Beyond The Light Switch series for Detroit Public Television. He recently directed the PBS documentary The Ethanol Effect for Detroit Public Television. With his production company, KDN Films, he directed Lustron – The House America’s Been Waiting For working with Ohio State University Public Television and the primetime national network broadcast of Most Honorable Son presented by PBS and NET Nebraska. His work has also appeared on PBS NewsHour, ABC News, CBS News and ESPN. He’s worked as a producer, photographer, on-air reporter and news assignment manager for television stations in Lansing, Flint and Detroit. He’s currently working on short films that look at the major issues facing Detroit for DPTV, One Detroit and DPTV’s Great Lakes Now.