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Gary Harki

I’m the investigations editor for Bloomberg Industry Group, a newsroom of more than 200 journalists focused on law, tax and government issues. Before this job, I spent most of my career in small- to medium-sized newsrooms, where I had to find ways to focus on investigations as daily reporting pressures continually increased.

I remember being a young reporter and feeling like an island unto myself, alone with an important story, not sure of how to proceed. Mentors helped guide me then, and when I became involved with IRE I realized the community’s support for young journalists was the heart of the organization.

Doing investigations in big newsrooms with a dedicated team is not a luxury many journalists have. I understand the hurdles found in both scrappy local newsrooms and at trade publications, and I want to be a voice on the board that represents those journalists. In both, beat reporters have a hard time pulling back from daily reporting to see the big picture.

We should constantly be looking for ways to add more scholarships and programs to help journalists attend conferences, and we need to expand the conference sessions that are recorded and available to members. Attending in person is always best, but further capturing and sharing the specialized sessions from conferences would be useful to all of us.

IRE has worked hard to build diversity programs, but there is much to do. We need to find ways to create a better dialogue between generations of IRE members through discussions that address issues like race and sexuality head-on. As a board member I would push to create a series of online forums where we pick a recent story that has been debated by journalists on Twitter and elsewhere to discuss. The aim would be to invite the author and have an in-depth conversation where members can share different views in an open and civil environment. There is always another story worthy of discussion and this would be a place where we could all think about different perspectives and learn from one another.

IRE’s challenge in the coming years will be to maintain its core focus of supporting all investigative journalists. We all know the tired phrase, “Do more with less,” and I worry that will be applied at IRE, too. The conferences are important, but just as important are the resources IRE has for reporters online, which should be expanded on and better kept. As a board member I would find ways to get members involved in better preserving the archive of past-conference materials, which so many of us rely on.

Attending IRE’s data bootcamp in 2015 opened a new world to me. Again and again I’ve used what I learned there and sought help or guidance from the people I met. The organization is more than the bootcamps and conferences; it is a group of journalists who support one another even as the profession gets ever more challenging.


Ana Ley, The New York Times – I would like to nominate Gary Harki for a seat on the Board of Investigative Reporters & Editors. Gary is one of the best investigative journalists that I have the pleasure of knowing, and his reporting skills are matched by a deep commitment to helping colleagues at every stage of their careers produce their most excellent work. In the eight years that I have been his friend (five of which I spent as his successor at The Virginian-Pilot), Gary has consistently made smart, ambitious and enormously impactful pieces in myriad formats, including traditional print stories as well as data-driven interactives and even a podcast. But what I appreciate most about Gary extends beyond his journalistic abilities. Above all, he is a wise, kind and generous peer, and he works very hard to make the industry and, crucially, this organization, more inclusive for people who have historically felt left out -- including myself.

Mackenzie Mays, Los Angeles Times – Gary has acted as a mentor to many journalists across the country long before he became an editor. He represents the best of journalism, with a passion for the underdog and holding the powerful accountable while bringing other journalists up with him to do the same. His “big picture” vision for journalism, penchant for teamwork and thoughtful mentorship will make him a great leader for the industry as a member of the board at a crucial time.

Candidate Q & A

Current Position

  • Investigations Editor for Bloomberg Law, Tax and Government

Prior Experience

  • Investigative Reporter, Spotlight PA
  • Investigative Reporter, The Virginian-Pilot
  • Adjunct Data Journalism Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Fellow, The O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism
  • Nuclear Industry Reporter, Energy Intelligence
  • Reporter and Web Editor, The Charleston Gazette
  • Livingston Finalist
  • National Headliner Award winner
  • 2019 Al Nakkula Award for Police Reporting winner

IRE Experience

  • 2015 Data Journalism Bootcamp attendee
  • Long-time IRE member
  • IRE panelist
  • IRE data class instructor
  • Writer, IRE Journal


  • Long-form investigations
  • Breaking news investigations
  • Criminal Justice Investigations
  • Investigative Editing
  • FOIA
  • Mentoring

Related Links

Issues I want to address

  • Expanding accessibility to IRE conferences and trainings for all journalists.
  • Ensuring the stability and financial security of IRE in the long-term.
  • Creating a more-inclusive environment for journalists from diverse backgrounds at IRE events.
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