Kathy Kieliszewski

Senior News Director for Visual

Detroit Free Press

Kathy Kieliszewski, the Detroit Free Press’s senior news director for visuals, is a four-time National Emmy Award-winning documentary producer and journalist. She was part of the team that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism for a series of multimedia stories that examined the difficulties and unintended consequences of fulfilling President Trump’s pledge to construct a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. She was the producer on 12th and Clairmont, a full-length documentary that looks back at the Detroit rebellion of 1967, and the feature-length documentary The Wall, an outgrowth of the Pulitzer Prize-winning multimedia series. Her latest film Coldwater Kitchen goes inside a Michigan prison where a dedicated chef’s gourmet culinary training program gives incarcerated men new skills — and new hope. Kieliszewski co-founded the Freep Film Festival, a documentary-focused film festival in Detroit, where she serves as the festival’s artistic director. Kieliszewski is currently executive producing a serial podcast set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She also manages a staff of 10 photographers and editors and in 2019 she was named Editor of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association. Before joining the Free Press as an editor, Kieliszewski spent 10 years as a photojournalist.

Participating Sessions

Working Intersectionally – News & Documentary

Across the country, nonprofit newsrooms are springing up to fill a void in local reporting, with many of them turning to film and documentaries to expand their reach and reach audiences. Bringing together the filmmaker and the reporter to create locally based films of journalistic and artistic integrity that serve the public interest. This partnership, however, can also invite tension, bringing together approaches and standards from distinct disciplines. This session...