Our People: Biographies

Joe Bergantino

Joe Bergantino is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. Bergantino has been a national and local investigative reporter for 35 years. He spent most of his career as the I-Team Reporter for WBZ-TV in Boston. He also did investigative reporting for WPLG-TV, the Washington Post-owned TV station in Miami and spent five years as a correspondent for ABC News where he reported for World News Tonight, Nightline and Good Morning America. During his career, Bergantino has won many of the broadcasting industry’s most prestigious awards including a duPont-Columbia Award and Citation, a Robert F. Kennedy Award for reporting on the disadvantaged, and a Gabriel Award. He has won several local Emmy awards including one designating him Best Investigative Reporter in New England. He was twice nominated for national Emmys for his work in 2002 and 2004. His stories have had a major impact on the lives of New Englanders and the results of his investigations have been felt worldwide. Bergantino is a clinical professor of journalism at Boston University and has taught journalism courses at Boston College since 1995.

Gary Putka, NECIR's Managing Editor, Gary joined NECIR with nearly forty-years of experience in news, most recently as U.S. Team Leader for Projects and Investigations and Editor-at-Large at Bloomberg News. Prior to his work at Bloomberg, Putka served as a Senior Editor and Boston Bureau Chief at The Wall Street Journal, where he worked for nearly thirty years. The reporters he has captained have won or shared in four Pulitzer Prizes, four George Polk Awards, a Goldsmith Award, a Gerald Loeb award, and many other honors. Gary's experience executing high-impact investigations has included in-depth reporting and editing in the fields of finance, business, health care, and education. His reporting on Ivy-League price fixing led to a U.S. Justice Department antitrust lawsuit and consentdecree. His reporters’ work on stock-options backdating fraud helped prompt investigations at more than 100 companies and the ousting of numerous executives. Members of his team exposed fraud and neglect in the for-profit hospice industry, contributed to award-winning coverage of the Federal Reserve’s bailout of Wall Street, and revealed secret donors whose campaign spending helped change the outcome the 2010 Congressional elections. He has edited more than 400 front-page features for the Wall Street Journal and reported from Western Europe, the Middle East, and Africa as a London-based foreign correspondent.

Jenifer McKim

Jenifer McKim is a Senior Investigative Reporter and Senior Trainer at The New England Center for Investigative Reporting. Her stories on child fatalities and the state Department of Children and Families were awarded a 2014 “Publick Occurrences” award from the New England Newspaper and Press Association. Before joining NECIR in September, 2013, McKim, worked as a social issues and business reporter at the Boston Globe, where she started in 2008. There she received a 2011 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism for a story on domestic sex trafficking of minors and a 2nd place nod for the 2013 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism chronicling a federal investigation into a global child pornography network. Prior to joining the Globe, McKim worked on the Investigative Team at the Orange County Register in California where she led a group of reporters to write about lead-tainted imported Mexican candies. The six-part series was a nominated finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service. McKim is a 2008 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University and a graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut. She started her journalism career at the San Juan Star in Puerto Rico and speaks fluent Spanish.

Beth Daley

Beth Daley, a Senior Investigative Reporter and Senior Trainer at NECIR, joined the center in November 2013.  Daley covered the environment, science and education for almost two decades at The Boston Globe and won numerous awards for her work including being named a Pulitzer Prize finalist.  Among her many stories--a two-year investigation on mislabeled fish in Boston area restaurants that won three awards from the Society of Business Editors and Writers along with additional awards from the National Press Club, the Society for Features Journalism and the National Headliner competition.  Daley spent the 2011-2012 academic year as a Knight fellow at Stanford University, a program designed to foster journalistic innovation and entrepreneurship. There, she became deeply interested in new journalism models and created EnviroFact, a collaborative clearinghouse to check environmental claims in the news.  From 2001-2003, Daley was the Globe’s science and 9/11 reporter covering the anthrax scare, the war in Afghanistan and the U.S. space program.  From 1997-2001, she was the newspaper’s education reporter.  On that beat, she wrote a series of award-winning stories on shoddy school construction and covered urban education in Boston and across the nation.  Prior to joining the Globe in 1994, Daley worked as a reporter for the Newburyport Daily News and as an English teacher in Sri Lanka and Thailand. She is a graduate of Northeastern University.

Brooke Williams

Brooke Williams is an award-winning investigative journalist who specializes in data-driven reporting and storytelling. She is a senior investigative reporter and senior trainer at NECIR, as well as a contributor to The New York Times.

Before joining NECIR, Brooke was an investigative journalism fellow at Harvard University, where in 2012, she launched an investigation into think tanks and how their relationships with foreign governments and corporations influence public policy and opinion. Her first investigation in a series she is co-authoring for the Times was part of the newspaper's Pulitzer Prize-winning entry in 2014.

Brooke graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism in December 2001 and began her career at the Center for Public Integrity in January 2002, where she co-authored and reported Harmful Error: Investigating Americas Local Prosecutors, The Buying of the President 2004, a best-selling book, and Windfalls of War, an investigation into defense contracts that won a George Polk Award. In 2004, she joined the watchdog team at the San Diego Union-Tribune, where she was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for stories examining how the city mishandled public land. In 2007, after massive wildfires in San Diego, her investigation into emergency contractors resulted in a federal criminal probe and taxpayer settlement. In 2009, she joined inewsource in San Diego as an investigative reporter, where her story about a newspaper owner and developer was a finalist for the Investigative Reporters and Editors award. In 2012, she accepted an investigative journalism fellowship with the Lab@Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. In 2014, she joined the Project on Public Narrative at Harvard as an investigative journalism fellow, where she launched a nationwide investigation of federal prosecutors. Recently, Brooke launched the first searchable database of foreign government contributions to major U.S. think tanks.

Isaiah Thompson

Isaiah Thompson has reported for the Miami New Times, the Philadelphia City Paper, Pro Publica and This American life, among other places. His 2007 investigation of a policy by which sex offenders were sent to live under a bridge by state officials was recognized with the Investigative Reporters and Editors award, and he has been the recipient of many awards since for his stories on police-involved shootings, civil forfeiture and other investigations. A Chicago native and recent transplant from Philadelphia, he's new to Boston — and on the look-out for new stories. Email him at isaiah_thompson@wgbh.org.

Troy ShaheenTroy Shaheen is NECIR’s Audience Engagement Director, and works to develop the reach of the center as well as to build enrollment in our journalism training programs. He is a graduate of Kenyon College, and has worked as a journalist, translator, consultant, teacher, travel guide, and program director. Prior to joining NECIR, Troy directed digital outreach and managed educational programs in Latin America and Europe for Putney Student Travel and National Geographic Student Expeditions, as well as a freelance features reporter for VTDigger. Troy manages NECIR's media partnerships, and can be reached at shaheent@bu.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @troyshaheen.

Jillian Saftel

Jillian Saftel is our Training Manager. Jill is a 2014 graduate of Northeastern University with experience in both strategic communications and journalism. Her past roles have included working as a sports correspondent at The Boston Globe and internships at the Red Sox Foundation and in public relations. After receiving her B.A. in Journalism from Northeastern, Jillian worked as an Account Coordinator at Version 2.0 Communications, a digital communications and public relations agency that specializes in fueling growth for companies and organizations. While at Northeastern, she received the Paul E. Hirshon Award for Academic Excellence & Professional Ethics. Jillian is originally from Rhode Island and her interests include journalism, sports and education.

Shawn Musgrave is NECIR’s Digital Producer and Reporter. He leads the digital presentation of NECIR’s investigative reporting, including graphic design, multimedia editing, coding and database development. Before joining NECIR, Shawn was Projects Editor at MuckRock, an online watchdog news and government accountability outlet.  Shawn’s investigative work has appeared on the front page of The Boston Globe and in VICE and The Marshall Project. With a focus on public records and freedom of information, Shawn’s recent work includes an investigation into the Boston Police Department’s use of license plate scanners that resulted in the indefinite suspension of the program. He is a former New England First Amendment Coalition Fellow for Massachusetts public records advocacy, a graduate of Boston University and is certified in computational journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.  Shawn can be reached at shawn_musgrave@wgbh.org. Follow him on Twitter at @shawnmusgrave.

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