Pulitzer Prize-winner Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica will talk about investigative reporting at a workshop for the Society of American Business Editors and Writers on Thursday, July 19. 

By Mark Scarp

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica will be featured in the opening keynote session of a July 19 workshop in Toronto developed by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) through special funding from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

The daylong workshop begins at 8 a.m. at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, 105 St. George Street. Admission is free and attendees may register on site or do so online here.  The schedule can be viewed here.

Eisinger and partner Jake Bernstein won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for a series about Wall Street dealings that led to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Eisinger also writes a bi­weekly column. “The Trade,” that appears in ProPublica and The New York Times Dealbook.

Eisinger told SABEW he will speak on how to report an investigative story even when the access to public records is limited.

“With our CDO (collaterized debt obligation) project, we confronted a problem where there were no relevant public documents: no advanced lawsuits, no meaningful prospectuses, no investigations. So we had to develop human sources,” Eisinger said. “It will be a discuss of those challenges and how to approach that kind of problem.”


Eisinger has particularly focused on complex financial matters. Before joining ProPublica, he was most recently the Wall Street editor of Conde Nast Portfolio, where he wrote a November 2007 cover story titled “Wall Street Requiem” in which he predicted the demise of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers.

Before joining Conde Nast Portfolio, Eisinger worked at The Wall Street Journal. He founded two market commentary columns and played a leading role in exposing accounting fraud at Belgium-based Lernout & Hauspie. While working at The Journal's European edition in London, he was honored by the UK-based World Leadership Forum for his coverage of accounting irregularities at the Irish drug maker Elan Corp.

Previously he covered biotechnology and pharmaceuticals for TheStreet.com and Dow Jones Newswires. Before that, he lived and worked as a journalist in Chile.

Other speakers expected to present at the workshop include Andy Hall, renowned reporter and architect of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, who led investigations at the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison and The Arizona Republic in Phoenix during an illustrious career. He founded the Center in Madison in 2009. The project focuses on government integrity and quality of life issues.

Click here to register for the July 19 Toronto workshop. Click here to view the schedule.

The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, based in Oklahoma City, made a $25,000 award as part of a series of grants to 19 journalism organizations nationwide. A similar workshop was held in Oklahoma City July 13 and two more will be held this fall, in Sept. 21 in Los Angeles and Oct. 19 in Tampa, Fla.