Feb. 29, Investigative Journalism Symposium

Former New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet will deliver the keynote address at 6 p.m. on Feb. 29 in Presidents Hall in Franklin Hall at The Media School at Indiana University. His speech will conclude up an afternoon-long symposium featuring award-winning journalists from WRTV, WBEZ, the Washington Post, ABC News, ESPN, Sports Business Journal, Axios and the Wall Street Journal.

Full schedule:

1 p.m.                    Welcome

  • Kathleen Johnston, Arnolt Center director

1:15 – 2:30 p.m.: Keeping it Local: Reporting and Editing Community Investigations

  • Kara Kenney, WRTV
  • Dan Mihalopoulos, WBEZ
  • Delano Massey, Axios
  • Moderator: Jason Peifer, Indiana University

2:45 – 4 p.m.: Accountability in Sports: Uncovering Abuse and Misconduct

  • Dan Murphy, ESPN
  • Rachel Axon, Sports Business Journal
  • Molly Hensley-Clancy, Washington Post
  • Moderator: Mike Wells, Indiana University

4:15 – 5:30 p.m.: Investigating for the Eye: Data and Visual Storytelling

  • James Benedict, Wall Street Journal
  • Mark Nichols, ABC News
  • Sarah Cahlan, Washington Post
  • Moderator: Sara Sidner, CNN

6 — 7 p.m.          Keynote

  • Dean Baquet, The New York Times

The panels and keynote address are free and open to all students, faculty, staff, journalists and the general public.

Thanks to our sponsors: Scripps-Howard Fund, the Lumina Foundation, the Hoosier State Press Association Foundation, The Indiana Citizen, Free Press Indiana, the Indiana Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Indiana Broadcasters Association, Hutton Honors College and Gray Television/ InvestigateTV.

And our partners: the Bloomington Press Club, the Limestone Post, the Indy Star, the Indianapolis Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Black Journalists IU Bloomington Chapter, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists at IU the Indianapolis Press Club Foundation, Indiana Capital Chronicle, Chalkbeat Indiana, the National Sports Journalism Center and The Media School at Indiana University.

The event will be live broadcast at:

See schedules from past symposia: 2022 and 2023.

Speaker bios:

Dean Baquet

Editor, Local Investigative Fellowship

Baquet now leads The Times Local Investigations Fellowship program that gives journalists the opportunity to produce signature investigative work focused on their state or region that will be published by The Times and made available for free for co-publication by local newsrooms.

He previously served as executive editor for The New York Times from May 2014 until June 2022. During Baquet’s tenure as executive editor, The Times had significant audience and subscriber growth and won 18 Pulitzer Prizes, including two for public service. The Times reaches 100 million readers each month and had 6.7 million subscriptions to its print and digital news products as of the end of 2021.

Before being named executive editor, Baquet was managing editor of The Times. He previously served as Washington bureau chief for the paper from March 2007 to September 2011. Baquet rejoined The Times after several years at the Los Angeles Times, where he was editor of the newspaper since 2005, after serving as managing editor since 2000. Previously, Mr. Baquet had been national editor of The New York Times since July 1995, after having served as deputy metro editor since May 1995. Baquet joined The Times in April 1990 as a metro reporter.

Before joining The Times, he reported for the Chicago Tribune from December 1984 to March 1990, and before that, for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans for nearly seven years. While at the Chicago Tribune, Baquet served as associate metro editor for investigations and was chief investigative reporter, covering corruption in politics and the garbage-hauling industry. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in March 1988 when he led a team of three in documenting corruption in the Chicago City Council, and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 in the investigative reporting category. Baquet has also received numerous local and regional awards.

Baquet majored in English at Columbia University from 1974 to 1978.


Kara Kenney

WRTV Investigates’ Kara Kenney fights for what’s right and holds those in power accountable. Her investigations into government fraud and waste have resulted in several changes to Indiana state law including more accountability for how schools report bullying incidents, radon testing in schools, as well as a law that requires more transparency in school superintendent contracts. Her investigations have earned her 15 Emmys, the Richard Dreihaus Investigative Award from the Better Government Association, an Edward R. Murrow award, and numerous awards from the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists.

In 2022, Kara won the Spectrum Award from the Indiana Broadcasters Association for her investigation “Crisis on the Creek,” as well as 1st Place for Investigative Reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2018, she was named Indiana’s Best Reporter by the Associated Press and Journalist of the Year in 2012 by the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists. Before joining WRTV in 2009, Kenney worked in Fort Meyers, Florida, South Bend, Wausau, Wisconsin. Kenney is a 2001 graduate of Indiana University’s School of Journalism.

Dan Mihalopoulos

Dan is an investigative reporter on WBEZ’s Government & Politics Team. Since joining the station in 2018, Dan has won three National Edward R. Murrow Awards, including the 2022 investigative reporting prize, for a series of stories on sexual abuse of lifeguards at Chicago’s beaches and pools. The “Buried Secrets” series prompted criminal charges, reforms and the resignations of the Park District’s chief executive and board president. Those stories also won first prize in the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Investigative Reporting.
Dan is a three-time winner of the Chicago Headline Club’s Watchdog Award for Excellence in Public Interest Reporting and was awarded the Headline Club’s 2018 Anne Keegan Award. His work also earned first prize for investigative reporting in the Education Writers Association’s national awards in 2014. Dan joined WBEZ from the Chicago Sun-Times, and previously was a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Chicago News Cooperative (Chicago section of the New York Times) and the Chicago Tribune.

Delano Massey

Delano Massey is the Managing Editor of Local at Axios, where he joined in 2022 to spearhead the company’s expansion into a dozen new markets, including Detroit, Raleigh, and Seattle. Before joining Axios, Massey held a prominent position at CNN as a supervising producer, overseeing the Washington-based producers, reporters, and writers covering crucial topics like the Justice Department, legal and criminal issues, the Supreme Court, the Department of Homeland Security, and immigration. During a pivotal time marked by a racial reckoning, he collaborated with CNN’s President Jeff Zucker to create the network’s Race & Equality team. Previously, Massey served as a deputy news director in Chicago for The Associated Press, where he supervised all-format coverage across the central United States. Additionally, as a leader of the Race & Ethnicity team, he facilitated the telling of several impactful stories that might have otherwise gone untold, including an award-winning coverage of the Red Summer of 1919 and the anniversary of the Little Rock Nine. Massey was recognized for his outstanding achievements and was listed among the Most Influential People of African Descent in 2021 and selected as a Poynter fellow for the 2023 Media Transformation Challenge.

Jason Peifer (moderator)

Jason Peifer, Ph.D., is an associate professor of journalism in the Media School at Indiana University. With professional experience in public radio, Peifer teaches on topics related to the foundations of journalism, news literacy, media ethics, public opinion, and satirical news/political entertainment. His research explores facets of citizens’ uncertainty about and trust in public institutions—especially as related to journalism practices, non-traditional news sources, and individuals’ perceptions of the news media’s importance. Some of Peifer’s most recent work includes examining the efficacy of different forms of journalistic transparency and cross-national perceptions of news and social media’s value/importance within a high-choice digital media landscape. His scholarship has been published in a variety of outlets, including the Journal of CommunicationJournalism & Mass Communication QuarterlyMedia PsychologyComputers in Human Behavior, Communication Methods & Measures, and the International Journal of Communication.

Dan Murphy

Dan Murphy is an investigative and enterprise reporter at ESPN. He joined ESPN in 2014 and his initial focus in covering was college sports. His reporting has won numerous awards, including a Peabody Award and the IRE Sports Investigation of the Year. He is the co-author of “Start By Believing” about the women who brought former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar to justice. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and has a master’s degree from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.

Rachel Axon

Rachel Axon covers the Olympics for Sports Business Journal. She is a veteran sports reporter who has spent more than 15 years in newspapers, focusing on investigations, the Olympics and college sports. She spent more than a decade at USA TODAY, where she covered the past five Olympic Games. She previously covered the University of Florida for the Orlando Sentinel and prep sports for the StarNews in Wilmington, N.C. Her work has finished in the top 10 in the Associated Press Sports Editors writing contest more than 10 times, with two wins for investigative and another for feature writing, as well as being honored by Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Goldsmith Prize and The Association of Business Journalists.

Molly Hensley-Clancy

Molly Hensley-Clancy is a sports investigations reporter for The Washington Post. Her reporting on sexual and emotional abuse in women’s soccer won an Investigative Reporters and Editors award in 2022. Previously, she worked for BuzzFeed News, where she spent time on the presidential campaign trail during the 2020 election as a national politics reporter. She is a native of Minneapolis.

Mike Wells (moderator)

Mike Wells joined the Media School as a full-time faculty member in the summer of 2022 after spending the previous three springs as an adjunct in the Media School and nine years with ESPN as the Indianapolis Colts’ NFL Nation reporter. Wells wrote for, appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter and NFL Live, and was a frequent voice on ESPN Radio, where he will continue as a fill-in host. He also contributed to golf and NBA coverage for Wells covered the NBA for 10 years—first the Minnesota Timberwolves for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and then the Indiana Pacers for the Indianapolis Star. He also covered the Minnesota Vikings and the University of Minnesota men’s basketball team while also filling in on the paper’s coverage of Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League while at the Pioneer Press. Wells started his journalism career working for The Associated Press in Seattle in January 2000.

James Benedict

James Benedict is a graphics reporter for The Wall Street Journal in New York, where he specializes in data analysis and interactive design across a variety of topics. He works closely with the national, economics, and investigations desks to create ambitious visual journalism.
He was a member of the WSJ team that won the 2023 Pulitzer for Investigative reporting for a series of stories that exposed government regulator’s financial trades. James focused on making this complex topic approachable to a general audience. His work has been recognized by the Pulitzer Prizes, NY Press Club, Society for News Design, Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, and the White House Correspondents’ Association. James joined the Journal in 2018 after graduating from Indiana University.

Sarah Cahlan

Sarah Cahlan is a senior video reporter and documentary filmmaker at The Washington Post. As a founding member of the Visual Forensics team, which was announced in 2020, she contributed to its first stories, developing the style and tone of its video investigations. She adds clarity, creativity and vision to stories that reveal new findings and provide further context to complex events. Her projects span a gamut of formats, coverage areas and reporting techniques, and include the police clearing of Lafayette Square in 2020, which won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award; the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, which was part of The Post’s package that won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Public service; and the hourly coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Sarah joined The Post in 2019 as a video editor producing video fact checks and stylized animated series for The Fact Checker. She is a former National Association of Hispanic Journalists fellow at NBC News and has worked as an associate producer and researcher at independent documentary production companies in New York.

Mark Nichols

Mark Nichols is a senior manager of Data Journalism for ABC News, developing data-driven investigative stories and projects for ABC’s World News Tonight, Nightline, Good Morning America, Live, and digital content for He also works with the data team that serves ABC’s Owned Television Station affiliates in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno. Nichols previously was a data journalist on the national desk of USA TODAY. He has worked as a data specialist for the digital reporting team at WCPO-TV in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was the computer-assisted reporting coordinator for more than 20 years at The Indianapolis Star, where he started his journalism career in 1980.

Sara Sidner (moderator)

Sara Sidner is a co-anchor of CNN News Central and a national correspondent. She began her career with CNN in India, where she headed coverage of South Asia. During her first year there, she reported live during the deadly terrorist attack in Mumbai. In the Middle East, Sidner was part of the team that won a Peabody for CNN’s coverage of the Arab Spring. Recently she helped lead CNN’s coverage of the protests after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, as well as the coronavirus outbreak. Sidner delivered the Arnolt Center’s symposium keynote speech in 2022 and is a member of the board.