Assistant Professor of Practice Deepe Family Chair in Depth Reporting
Chris Graves is an assistant professor of practice and a Deepe Family Chair in Depth Reporting at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, teaching reporting and writing. She is also a 1987 graduate of the college, where she earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree. A native of North Omaha, Graves is a first-generation college student.
Graves started writing stories for her high school newspaper and never looked back. She’s covered politics and potlucks, serial killers and killer storms. She’s spent her career documenting human suffering and the human spirit. A word editor and a newsroom manager, she helped newsrooms "go digital' in the early days and continues to be energized by the future of local news and how technologies can deliver news to various audiences.
She’s been a reporter, line editor, assistant city editor and managing editor and newspaper columnist. She’s worked in print, TV and public radio newsrooms. She documented Minneapolis’ most murderous years in the early 1990s. While a reporter at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, she covered spree killer Andrew Cunanan, who killed fashion designer Gianni Versace in 1997. Her coverage of the child protection system was a catalyst for the state of Minnesota changing its law, allowing for certain juvenile court records to be open to the media for inspection.
Her crime and justice work has been featured in documentaries, television shows, National Public Radio and referenced in numerous books and cited by former Attorney General Janet Reno as well as used by Harvard researchers.
While the metro columnist at the Cincinnati Enquirer, she was a member of the team awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for "Seven Days of Heroin."
In 2020, while working at Minnesota Public Radio, she helped direct the online coverage of the killing of George Floyd, who died under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer and the worldwide aftermath and calls for policing reforms.
She is continuing her research into the 2016 deaths of eight members of a rural Ohio family allegedly at the hands of four members of another family in the foothills of Appalachia.
She is the mother of two adult daughters and lives in Lincoln with her oldest daughter.