Investigative Journalism: Crucial for a healthy democracy

Join three award-winning journalists Thursday as they share their experiences in producing impactful stories through their investigative efforts.

This interactive evening session at the UT Conference Center will invite the audience to participate in a robust discussion with the journalists on the importance of journalism in sustaining healthy democracies.

The program is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in room 406 of the Conference Center, 600 Henley St.

The panelists are:

Tom Junod, Senior Writer for ESPN, is a two-time winner of the National Magazine Award, for work done for GQ and Esquire magazines. His encounter with and resultant profile of Fred Rogers in Esquire led to the Tom Hanks movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”

His Esquire story, “My Mom Couldn’t Cook,” was the recipient of a James Beard Award. In addition, he has written for The Atlantic and Life magazines.

Paula Lavigne is co-author of “Violated: Exposing Rape at Baylor University Amid College Football’s Sexual Assault Crisis,” which won a 2017 Gracie Award for Investigative Television Feature.

In 2015 her story on the University of Missouri’s handling of a sexual assault case was honored with a first prize from the Education Writers Association. In 2014 she won an Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award for a series about a gambling ring on south Florida youth football.

Kevin Sack, Senior Reporter for The New York Times, is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner. In 2001 he was part of a team that shared the prize for National Reporting for a series on race.

n 2003, while at The Los Angeles Times, he and Alan Miller won the Pulitzer for National Reporting on the U.S. Marine aircraft that was nicknamed “The Widow Maker” because of its involvement in the deaths of 45 pilots.

And in 2015, he was part of The New York Times team that won the Pulitzer for International Reporting for coverage of an Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa.

The moderators of the session are Chris Wohlwend, a veteran newspaper and magazine writer, reporter, editor; and Dr. Amber Roessner, professor at UT’s School of Journalism & Electronic Media.

The program is being held by the University of Tennessee School of Journalism and Electronic Media.