Last year I spent hours going through pension documents for an investigative project entitled Our Financial Mess, which focused on problems within the Memphis city government. This year, the other members of the team and I won the Malcolm Law Award, Tennessee’s top prize for investigative reporting. We’ve also won national recognition, including being named finalists in the Investigative Reporters and Editors contest.
I want to acknowledge our leader Marc Perrusquia, Grant Smith and all the other members of the team.
Investigative reporting is at the core of my approach to journalism, and you’ll see that reflected in The Book of Isaias. Much of it is based on immersion reporting – that is, things I saw myself – but I also made a point of verifying facts through documents, ranging from a Florida death certificate to Government Accountability Office reports to internal e-mails sent between federal education officials. Investigative techniques made a strong story even better.