I’m Rachael Bale, a reporter for National Geographic’s Special Investigations Unit in Washington, DC. I cover wildlife crime and exploitation, including trafficking, poaching, and the exotic pet trade.
Previously I was reporter and researcher at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. At Reveal/CIR, I covered environmental stories about mining, pesticides and wildlife, as well as the developmentally disabled. I also occasionally freelanced for KQED public radio, the Bay Area’s NPR affiliate.
Before San Francisco, I was back in DC, where I covered campaign finance and the election for the Center for Public Integrity, which, like CIR, is a also a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative journalism center. I focused on outside spending in the election – Citizens United, super PACs, nonprofits, secret money and the like.
I have also been published in GlobalPost, Financial Times, Newsweek, NBCnews.com and American Public Media’s Marketplace, among others.
Many of my stories are data-driven, and I regularly use computer-assisted reporting techniques in my work.
In addition to wildlife and the environment, I am especially interested in social justice, mental health and international relations. My goal is to make people care about what’s happening around them.
Laguna Beach, Calif., is my hometown, but Portland, Ore., is where my heart is. I went to Reed College, a small, liberal arts college in Portland, where I majored in political science with a focus on international relations. I earned my master’s degree in journalism at American University in Washington, DC.
I like: bourbon, trying new foods, reading, and sports that don’t make you feel like you’re working out, like aerial silks, rock-climbing and yoga.