Here at the Institute for Public Service Reporting we get results.
We’re a campus-based professional newsroom specializing in investigative and explanatory journalism. We write high-impact print stories and broadcast thoughtful, feature-length audio reports on WKNO-FM public radio that explore critical issues of local and national significance.
Our stories push the public agenda.
Consider our recent investigation of police excessive force.
At first, the City of Memphis fought our requests for internal police records. The mayor’s staff at one point wanted $6,000 for access. Yet this spring, following months of our reporting, the Memphis Police Department adopted critical reforms affecting transparency and accountability. The reforms came in response to our series of stories that found MPD had routinely treated brutality as a mere policy violation. Sometimes, officers were suspended. Others resigned. Yet even extreme cases that arguably amounted to torture weren’t referred to prosecutors for criminal review.
Going forward, all such cases will be referred to the District Attorney’s Office to weigh criminal charges.
These are the kind of results that readers have come to expect from us.
Our recent stories on a consultant’s controversial literacy program led Shelby County Schools to put the brakes on a questionable $15 million contract. Stories by student intern Christopher Fulton led to legislation that aims to remove a klansman’s name from Memphis’ federal courthouse. Our other intern, Caleb Suggs, just won a national Hearst broadcasting award – a first for a University of Memphis student.
These successes are the product of our unique mission: Educating the next generation of journalists while plugging holes in local news coverage with in-depth investigative and explanatory journalism that the cash-starved commercial news media can no longer deliver. We’ve used that model to explore critical issues involving the pandemic, education, sexual and domestic violence, and other vital topics of local and national significance.
Your donation will help sustain and grow that mission.