How to cover prosecutors

  • Event: 2019 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Julie Brown of Miami Herald; Ted Gest of Criminal Justice Journalists; Scott Henson of Grits for Breakfast; Vivian King of Harris County District Attorney's Office
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Jun. 13 at 10:15am
  • Location: Briargrove
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

Prosecutors are among the least covered and most important officials in the criminal justice system. There is a new breed of "progressive prosecutors" being elected around the country. This session will describe the trend and help journalists evaluate prosecutors and tell how good a job they are doing on all levels.

Speaker Bios

  • During her 30-year career, Julie K. Brown has worked as a general assignment reporter, crime and courts reporter, and enterprise editor. Since 2013, she has been a member of the Miami Herald’s I-team. She won a Polk Award for for “Perversion of Justice,” a series how a Trump’s cabinet member helped a wealthy sexual predator receive immunity from prosecution. She is also the winner of the 2014 Robert F. Kennedy Center Human Rights story of the year. @jkbjournalist

  • Ted Gest is president of Criminal Justice Journalists and Washington bureau chief of, which publishes a daily news digest on criminal justice. He formerly covered criminal justice for U.S. News & World Report and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He is the co-author of the latest edition of IRE's "Understanding Crime and Justice Statistics: A Reporter's Guide." 

  • Scott Henson is interim executive director of Just Liberty, a bipartisan 501c4 #cjreform organization. Since 2004 he has authored a blog,, covering Texas criminal justice politics and policy. With Amanda Marzullo of the Texas Defender Service, he co-hosts a Texas-justice-themed podcast called "Reasonably Suspicious."

  • Vivian King, accomplished in business and law serves as the Chief of Staff for the Harris County District Attorney's Office. In her 38 year career she has built her own law firm, received numerous legal honors and found time to become a television personality. Building on her business experience, she decided to pursue her legal education and attended Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law. She graduated with her Juris Doctorate cum laude in 1992.

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