I thought journalism should be a little more exciting than that.
Click play to listen. Recorded on November 4, 2001.
In 2001, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter William C. Gaines reminisced about his experiences as a reporter, explaining that reading news stories from the wire for radio was interesting, but not exciting enough. He worked as an outside newsman in Gary, Indiana, and then became a fulltime member of the Chicago Tribune’s investigative reporting Task Force. On the Task Force, he broke stories almost weekly, working with his team to use fake identities to take on jobs at corrupt institutions. He and the Tribune staff jointly won the Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for uncovering unsanitary conditions and misdirected Medicaid funds at Von Solbrig Hospital in Chicago while Gaines was employed there as a janitor.
Gaines also discussed changes in journalism over the course of his career. Ethical considerations abound in contemporary journalism, and the trend has turned against investigative reporting, he explains, though its methods have influenced the way regular beat reporters do their jobs.