IRE Board President Cheryl W. Thompson is featured in the latest “Chasing Corruption” video story about the power of local investigative reporting.
The eight-minute piece highlights a rolling investigation at The Washington Post by Thompson and Ovetta Wiggins into Jack B. Johnson, then the powerful county executive of Prince George’s County. Their investigation led to one of the longest prison sentences in Maryland for political corruption.
Johnson was released from prison after serving five years. He pleaded guilty in 2011 to evidence tampering and destruction of evidence. His wife, developers and other government officials also were implicated. Prosecutors said he received more than $1 million in bribes during his time in office.
“Chasing Corruption” is a Facebook Watch program produced by Reckon at the Alabama Media Group. It’s hosted by Ian Hoppe, who is traveling with a team across the country to focus on the value of watchdog reporting.
Thompson, who was elected to the 13-member IRE board of directors in June 2015, began service as board president this past June. She is an associate professor who teaches journalism at The George Washington University and writes investigative stories for The Washington Post. She’s won numerous awards, including an Emmy, National Headliner, IRE and two Salute to Excellence awards from the National Association of Black Journalists. She was named NABJ’s Educator of the Year in 2017. She also was part of a team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.