Newsroom Archive


John Jay College Center on Media, Crime and Justice Awards 21 Journalists With White Collar Crime Reporting Fellowships

New York, March 16, 2009 ---Twenty-one journalists from print, online and broadcast outlets around the nation have been selected as fellows to attend a McCormick Foundation Specialized Reporting Institute on financial crime at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City on April 1st and April 2nd

The Institute, one of a series of advanced journalism workshops on pressing topics supported annually by the Chicago-based McCormick Foundation, is co-hosted by John Jay’s Center on Media, Crime and Justice (CMCJ) and the Departments of Economics and Sociology at John Jay.  Leading financial investigators, attorneys, scholars and representatives of the regulatory community will participate with journalists and a larger audience in a wide-ranging exploration of the links between corporate fraud and criminality  and the current economic crisis—and the skills and knowledge needed by journalists to cover them. 

 “The press is playing an important role in bringing to light many of the worst examples of financial misbehavior and criminality in the current economic turmoil,” said CMCJ Director Stephen Handelman. “But media critics say it can and should have done a lot more, particularly in the impact on smaller communities around the country. This institute is an opportunity to provide reporters with the background and cutting-edge tools to help them continue to play that critical watchdog role.”

The fellows were selected from a wide pool of applicants based on editors’ recommendations and statements of purpose related to the theme of the 2009 Specialized Reporting Institute: How Do They Get Away With It? Tracking Financial Crime in the New Era. 

The specialized subjects covered at the conference, including  forensic accounting, Ponzi schemes, money laundering and the techniques used by financial investigators to uncover and prosecute fraud, will be reinforced by experts and scholars at John Jay College, the country’s pre-eminent institution for criminal justice education. (For a list of the 2009 Fellows, see below.)

Overall support for the Specialized Reporting Institute comes from the McCormick Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Open Society Institute and John Jay College. These organizations did not participate in the review or selection of the fellows.


About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nationsIn teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit

The Center on Media, Crime and Justice, established at John Jay College in 2006, is the nation's only practice- and research-oriented think tank devoted to encouraging and developing high-quality reporting on criminal justice, and to promoting better-informed public debate on the complex 21st-century challenges of law enforcement, public security and justice in a globalized urban society. For more information, visit

The McCormick Foundation believes there is nothing more critical to the vitality of a democracy than a free, vigorous and diverse news media, providing citizens with information they need to make reasoned decisions. This furthers the Foundation’s overall mission to strengthen our democratic society by investing in children, communities and country. Through its various programs the Foundation helps to build a more active and engaged citizenry. The McCormick Foundation is one of the nation’s largest charities, with more than $1 billion in assets. For more information, please visit

The 2009 Fellows:

Alison Fitzgerald Bloomberg News (Washington D.C.)
Alison Grant The Plain Dealer  (Ohio)
Andrew McIntosh The Sacramento Bee (California)
Brendan Conway Christian Science Monitor (New York)
Dan Kelley Corpus Christi Caller-Times (Texas)
Daniel Massey Crain's New York Business (New York)
David Smith Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Arkansas)
Drew DeSilver The Seattle Times (Seattle)
Eartha Melzer Michigan Messenger (Michigan)
Elizabeth Sprague CBS (New York)
Gary Craig Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York)
Heather Harlan Baltimore Business Journal  (Maryland)
Jennifer Niemela Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal (Minnesota)
John Schoen (Washington)
John Grebe WZBC-FM News (Massachusetts)
Karyn Spencer Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)
Martha Graybow Reuters (New York)
Moira Herbst Business Week (New York)
Ryan Dezember Press-Register (Mobile, Ala.)
Will Carless (California)
Tom Witosky Des Moines Register (Iowa)