Mini Documentary Features Professor Cheryl W. Thompson

Jack Johnson and Cheryl W. Thompson
"Chasing Corruption" Facebook video series title graphic by Reckon at the Alabama Media Group
October 17, 2018


Professor Cheryl W. Thompson is featured in the latest "Chasing Corruption" Facebook video series about the power of local investigative reporting.

The eight-minute show 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 produced by Reckon at the Alabama Media Group as part of the Facebook Watch video-on-demand service. The series is hosted by Ian Hoppe, who is traveling with a team across the country to focus on the value of watchdog reporting.

Thompson is a professor of journalism at SMPA and contributes investigative stories for The Washington Post. She was this year's winner of SMPA's Staub Faculty Excellence Award, given to one SMPA professor each year, and the 2014 George Washington University Honey Nashman Spark a Life Award, given to the GW faculty member of the year.

She is president of the board at the Investigative Reporters and Editors and won numerous awards, including an Emmy, National Headliner 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.