TOP PICKS

What’s bipartisanship and why does Joe Biden care so much about it?

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The president has aimed to make unity and compromise central to his time in office. But not everyone in Washington is sold on the effort. Here’s a look at Biden’s relationship with bipartisanship and why it matters. 

Pitched, reported and wrote premium story in a day to address spike in searches for “bipartisanship” during infrastructure talks, found via Google Trends.

Systems in place for survivors of sexual, emotional abuse at DePaul leave victims feeling abandoned

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A two-year investigation by The DePaulia into the university’s handling of Title IX cases uncovered a pattern of negligence and disregard for the safety and emotional well-being of the DePaul community regarding sexual and relationship misconduct.

Conducted trauma-informed interviews with seven survivors of sexual or emotional abuse, four of which were included in the story. Obtained police records, court records, homeless shelter records and internal Title IX documents to verify anecdotal testimony. Studied Title IX law to assess potential violations. Interviewed sexual violence experts to provide both campus and Covid-19 context to the story.

Pelosi taps Democrats, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney for committee investigating Capitol riot

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her appointees to a select committee aimed at investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection attempt on the U.S. Capitol, including Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming.

Pre-wrote file and filled out additional details as news broke. Coordinated with reporter on the Hill and added additional details fed from the Capitol.

Tracking DePaul’s dollars

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Have you ever wondered how much the university’s president gets paid or where your tuition money actually goes? 

Analyzed DePaul’s most recent 80-page Form 990 and found answers to questions frequently asked by readers. Scraped data from the form and used it to create numerous easily digestible, interactive graphics.

Jan. 6 review: Biden blasts Trump in speech, Dick Cheney hailed in surprise Capitol visit for ceremony

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Lawmakers somberly marked the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol with prayers and testimonials Thursday, a marked contrast from last year’s siege by a pro-Trump mob that ransacked the building and forced Congress to evacuate.

Spent entirety of Jan. 6, 2022 at the Capitol feeding reports to editors manning USA TODAY’s liveblog. Interviewed individuals who participated in the riot and reported on speeches by lawmakers. Live-tweeted the day.

Fact check: False nepotism claim against Montana’s governor in GOP ad

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A false political ad by the National Republican Senatorial Committee accused Democratic Montana Gov. Steve Bullock of “making deals to help his own family,” referring to his brother’s firm, unnamed in the ad but revealed to be Pioneer Technical Services in a NRSC press release.

Studied Montana state law, obtained multiple federal documents, interviewed all key players, fact checked information with inside and outside sources, studied storied Parrot tailings dispute, utilized background sourcing in addition to on-record sourcing, analyzed reported information to determine veracity of claim.

‘Connected in a different way’: The impact of sudden loss

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When celebrities die unexpectedly, the world mourns their loss. But thousands of ordinary people die suddenly every day, and the aftermath is just as devastating. 

Detailed the loss of my best friend at age 15, connecting it to the sudden loss of basketball star Kobe Bryant and his daughter and examining the broader implications of sudden loss. Interviewed an individual who similarly lost a friend suddenly, two friends of my late friend and a grief expert.

Fact check: Trump lost the 2020 presidential election

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Analyses of the 2020 election — looking specifically at popular and electoral votes, failed lawsuits and Biden’s success with swing voters in the suburbs of “blue wall” states — explain Trump’s loss to Biden.

Interviewed Dave Wasserman, studied official results and utilized critical thinking skills to analyze the 2020 election’s outcome.

‘A veiled threat’: Changes to racist clause in faculty handbook stalled by provost

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In early 2019, two DePaul professors began questioning the language and purpose of a clause in the university’s Faculty Handbook that states “a pattern of extreme intimidation and aggression towards other members of the university committee” can be grounds for faculty dismissal or other repercussions. The language, they argued, provides no objective criteria for violation, leaving it ripe for abuse – particularly toward faculty of color, who are often accused of being threatening or aggressive if they are outspoken. Two years later, despite support from the Faculty Council and two faculty committees, the language remains unchanged, blocked by Interim Provost Salma Ghanem in June and now stuck in negotiations over the language.  

Interviewed five sources, developing a trusting relationship, and obtained internal memos and emails.

DePaul trustees chair pledged tens of thousands in political donations to 2020 Republicans

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The newly appointed chair of DePaul’s board of trustees — the group of donors that help make all the university’s major decisions — donated the highest amount of money permitted by law to key Republican groups and candidates in the weeks before and after the 2020 election, federal disclosure records show

Obtained federal disclosure records, analyzed them and negotiated for background sourcing versus off-record statements.

West Town art collective helps artists turn craft into career

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On the third floor of an unassuming warehouse in West Town, artists gather to create and share their work. The space is home to the Fulton Street Collective, a local incubator that wants to help artists take their passion and turn it into a paycheck — or better yet, a career.

Pitched feature to the Sun-Times, visited the space to interview its owner, interviewed visual artists in the collective and both professional and college musical artists who had performed in the space.