Jessica Prokop has been a staff reporter at The Columbian in Vancouver, Southwest Washington’s largest daily newspaper, since 2015. She was hired as a courts reporter before becoming assistant metro editor in 2018, overseeing a three-person breaking news team. She and another reporter were recognized in 2019 with a regional, first-place award for enterprise reporting for their six-part series titled “Fall From Grace.” The series chronicled the rise and fall of a former megachurch pastor who landed in federal prison after attempting to smuggle 280 pounds of marijuana into the U.S. from Mexico. Raised in the Pacific Northwest and a graduate of Linfield College, Prokop previously worked as a reporter in Southern Oregon. Her work has been recognized by the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association’s C.B. Blethen Memorial Awards for Distinguished Newspaper Reporting and Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.