John  Sullivan

John Sullivan

Senior Editor

John Sullivan, a Pulitzer Prize winner from The Philadelphia Inquirer, is a reporter on The Post's Investigations team, an investigative reporter in residence at American University and a senior editor at the Investigative Reporting Workshop.

He pairs grad students with various investigative teams inside the Post; students research, build databases, fact-check and interview. Sullivan also teaches an investigative practicum at the graduate level.

Sullivan was a senior lecturer and assistant director of Medill Watchdog and on the journalism faculty at Northwestern University, after working for nearly a decade at The Inquirer, where his assignments included covering the war in Iraq, state government, city hall, science and health and as a member of the paper’s investigative team.

His stories have forced officials to answer for systemic failings and to undertake an overhaul of the city’s child welfare system (winner of a Casey Medal in 2007); to restructure the criminal courts after it was shown that people charged with violent crimes escaped conviction on all charges in almost two-thirds of cases (winner of several national awards and finalist for the Selden Ring, 2010) and to terminate a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program that had allowed corporate polluters to burnish their green image (a finalist for a Pulitzer in 2009).

Most recently Sullivan led a team of five reporters who examined violence in the Philadelphia schools. The series won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2012, a Casey Medal and the IRE Award.

 

Recent News

Fire danger persists for Polaris off-road vehicles

The leading producer of off-road vehicles has recalled thousands of its machines because of fire danger. The vechicles are responsible for three deaths so far, resulting in multiple lawsuits. 

What happens when a driver kills someone while fiddling with a cellphone? Often, not much

Although there are no national statistics on the results of prosecutions brought against distracted drivers who kill or severely injure someone, light punishment appears to be the norm. An informal review by FairWarning of prosecutions of distracted drivers — cases gleaned from news reports over the last five years that involved more than 100 deaths overall — found that few were sentenced to serve for more than a month or two, or given fines of more than $1,000.

Incubating new economic models for journalism.

Latest from iLab

Future of DC transparency

The future of transparency in D.C. government is murky, open records advocates say.

Since its creation in 2011, the Office of Open Government has been tasked with keeping more than 90 District agencies in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act. But the board that oversees the office will not reappoint its inaugural director, Traci L. Hughes, making transparency advocates worried about the office’s future.  

The power of reporters, working together

Workshop Executive Editor Charles Lewis writes about global teamwork in investigative reporting in his chapter for a new book published by the Reuters Institute at the University of Oxford. 

Blogs

Most Recent Posts

Apprehensions at U.S.-Mexico border down from 2017

The number of people apprehended or denied entry into the U.S. dropped from 2017.

Donations to nonprofit newsrooms continue to grow after 'Trump bump'

Despite his persistent claims of fake news and shoddy reporting, President Donald Trump’s contentious relationship with the media has actually provided a much-needed financial boost for many nonprofit,  investigative journalism organizations across the country.

Asbestos, highway safety and child strangulation prevention

Check out our three reprints from FairWarning.

Stories include preventions in child strangulation, Johnson & Johnsons carcinogen worries and highway safety.

 

How Trump is shaping immigration policy

“It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century," said President Donald Trump at his first State of the Union. 

What Trump didn’t talk about were the ups and downs of immigration under his administration. The Investigative Reporting Workshop built a timeline of immigration during Trump’s first year, and we’ll continue to update it.

American trust in the media is low, but majority believes it is necessary

More than 80 percent of U.S. adults believe the news media are critical or very important to our democracy, according to a recent survey by Gallup and the Knight Foundation.

Partners

Workshop Partners

We publish online and in print, often teaming up with other news organizations. We're working now on a new program with FRONTLINE producers, to air later in the year, and on the "Years of Living Dangerously," a series on climate change that has begun airing on Showtime. A story last year on the use of solitary confinement in immigration detention centers was co-published with The New York Times. Our updates to our long-running BankTracker project, in which you can view the financial health of every bank and credit union in the country, have been published with msnbc.com, now nbcnews.com, and we co-published stories in our What Went Wrong series on the economy with The Philadelphia Inquirer and New America Media. Our graduate students are working as researchers with Washington Post reporters, and our new senior editor is a member of the Post's investigative team. Learn more on our partners page.

Projects

Investigating Power update

Investigating Power update

Profiles of notable journalists and their stories of key moments in U.S. history in the last 50 years can be found on the Investigating Power site. See Workshop Executive Editor Charles Lewis' latest video interviews as well as historic footage and timelines. You can also read more about the project and why we documented these groundbreaking examples of original, investigative journalism that helped shape or change public perceptions on key issues of our time, from civil rights to Iraq, here.