Two New Digitally-Focused Reporters Join The News Hub Team : NPR Extra Joe Hernandez will begin on May 24; Sharon Pruitt-Young starts on June 1.

Two New Digitally-Focused Reporters Join The News Hub Team

Joe Hernandez Courtesy of WHYY hide caption

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Courtesy of WHYY

Sharon Pruitt-Young Courtesy of Sharon Pruitt-Young hide caption

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Courtesy of Sharon Pruitt-Young

Sharon Pruitt-Young

Courtesy of Sharon Pruitt-Young

In a note to newsroom staff Senior Director of Digital News & Strategy Justin Bank and Managing Editor Terence Samuel announced the following update:

We're very pleased to announce two new hires to the NewsDesk/Digital News teams.

Joe Hernandez

Joe has reported on New Jersey for the last 7 years, first as WHYY's South Jersey reporter and, more recently as the statehouse reporter for WHYY and WBGO.

You can see the full spectrum of Joe's inquisitive reporting instincts in the hundreds of stories he's written during this time — starting with his very first story at WHYY about roller-coasters and summer: "Why Do We Like to Be Scared."

A New Jersey native, Joe has reported on the state's experiment with eliminating cash bail, corporate infighting at the Campbell Soup Company, and an endangered wooden elephant on the Jersey Shore. And, of course, like so many other Garden State reporters, he's taken a turn covering colorful court cases like the Bridgegate trial and the corruption charges against Sen. Bob Menendez.

Before becoming a reporter, Joe was the morning news producer at WHYY. He began his career at WNYC, where he worked as a producer on The Takeaway and served several other roles in the newsroom.

In his off hours, Joe enjoys traveling with his partner and their dog, struggling through crossword puzzles, and woodworking. He once played guitar in a ska band. It was not revealed during the interview process whether his experience would validate Reel Big Fish's advice on the matter.

Sharon Pruitt-Young

Sharon Pruitt-Young has, most recently been a writer for Oxygen Network, where she covered crime and criminal justice. During her time at Oxygen, she was also an editor of Very Real, the network's women's lifestyle vertical that concentrated on culture and celebrity.

Her work has also been published by PBS, MSN, Lifewire, and other outlets. In her freelance work, you can see the range of her journalistic approach — whether profiling the Philadelphia District Attorney office or leaning into her knowledge as a gamer with a pieces on backwards compatibility for the PS5.

The dexterity that comes across in her portfolio was carried over in the story ideas she bandied about with every person she met with as a part of the recruiting process. We're excited for her to keep pitching all types of stories in collaboration with desks, shows, pods, Visuals and so many more once she starts.

Sharon earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she was the editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper and was a fellow of the Shear Institute for Women in Public Life. She also interned at St. Louis Magazine and contributed to USA TODAY College, Her Campus, and The St. Louis American newspaper.

Sharon lives in Columbia, Maryland with her husband and son. Her hobbies include tabletop gaming, fishing, and roller skating. She is passionate about storytelling in all its forms.

Joe starts on May 24th.

Sharon starts on June 1st.

We expect you'll soon be seeing plenty of them in all the usual breaking-news and live-blogging slack rooms. But please reach out to say hello and show them some of the more fun slack channels as well.

Terry Justin