McGraw Fellows’ Summer: Producing Hard-Hitting Investigative Stories

  • By Newmark J-School Staff
The US Magnesium dike north of Stansbury Island. Photo by Trent Nelson for The Salt Lake Tribune.

The McGraw Center’s Business Journalism Fellows have had a busy summer. They’ve published several hard-hitting new investigative pieces since July, featuring deep reporting into problems around the corporate world ranging from the housing sector and chemical manufacturing to hotel management. 

Here are the latest stories from the McGraw Fellows: 

  • The ran a story by Bernice Yeung, the managing editor of the Investigative Reporting Program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, exploring whether hotel chains should be held more accountable for the sex trafficking that takes place on their premises. Yeung’s piece was also featured in Trafficking Inc, a series by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that examines the networks of companies, people and business practices that profit from labor and sex trafficking. 
  • Rebecca Burns’ probe into Home Partners, the leading player in the resurgent “Rent-to-Own” market for home ownership was published by Burns spent over a year digging into home purchase and eviction records in three cities to see if Home Partners’ claim — that it provides an alternative path to ownership for people traditionally shut out of the housing market due to poor credit or the lack of a down payment — held true. The result of her reporting is clear in the headline: Private Equity sold them a dream of home ownership. They got evicted instead. 
  • Emma Penrod, a Utah-based freelancer, produced the first piece in her series on the environmental and labor problems facing companies in the green economy. Her story looks at problems with plans to clean up toxic waste at a Superfund site created by the powerful mining firm US Magnesium, which extracts critical minerals from salt in the Great Salt Lake. Produced by the non-profit Utah Investigative Journalism Project, it ran on the front page of the Salt Lake Tribune in early August.

Applications for the upcoming round of McGraw Fellowships are due September 30, 2023. The Fellowships, awarded twice a year, enable experienced journalists to produce high-impact investigative or enterprise stories that “Follow the Money.” Both freelance and staff journalists with at least five years of professional experience, working in all media, can apply. Applicants do not need to be business journalists; many Fellows have been generalists, or cover areas such as health care, education or the environment. For more information, check out our Frequently Asked Questions or email