Stephen J. Berry, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter, specializes in investigative reporting. His book, Watchdog Journalism: The Art of Investigative Reporting (Oxford University Press), was released in July 2008. He is now conducting research on liberal newspaper editors in the South during the civil rights movement for his second book. He is co-founder, senior advisor and the former interim executive director-editor of The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, a non-profit organization that publishes the online news site, IowaWatch.org. The Iowa Center is dedicated to collaborating with other news organizations to produce in-depth explanatory and investigative projects on serious public affairs issues confronting Iowans. During his tenure as editor, he supervised and edited more than 100 student-produced investigative or explanatory projects for IowaWatch.
Before entering academia in 2003, Berry was a journalist for thirty-three years, having worked last at the Los Angeles Times. While at The Orlando Sentinel, he and a colleague won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting that uncovered racial and ethnic targeting in a law enforcement operation. He has covered racial violence and institutional discrimination.
He has won numerous other honors for investigative and daily reporting, including the Associated Press Newspaper Executive Council Award for public service; the national Benjamin Fine and the N.C. School Bell awards for education reporting; the Los Angeles Times’ Top of the Times Award, its Editor and Publisher Prize and one of its Pulitzer nominations; National Headliners Award finalist for public service; Society of Professional Journalists Award (Atlanta Chapter); Champion of Justice Journalism Award by National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Association; Florida Sports Writers Association award for Investigative Reporting; and others. His projects have examined race relations, the criminal justice system, police abuse of power, school district merger and race relations issues, medical malpractice, stock-car racing safety, guns, government, and illegal drugs. More recently he has published “Iowa Gets C+ in State Accountability Project,” Center for Public Integrity’s “State Integrity Investigation: Keeping them Honest,” Washington, D.C., IowaWatch.org in collaboration with the Gazette in Cedar Rapids; “Reclaiming Objectivity” and “CBS News Lets the Pentagon Taint Its News Process” in Nieman Reports.
His MA degree is in American history with a specialty in the civil rights movement. He earned a BA in political science from the University of Montevallo, AL.