WASHINGTON, D.C.—John Crewdson, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of immigration in The New York Times, and whose work in the Chicago Tribune is the reason defibrillators are now standard equipment on all U.S. airlines, is joining the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) as a senior investigator.
Crewdson has worked in Washington for the past 22 years as an investigative reporter for Bloomberg News and senior correspondent for the Tribune. At Bloomberg, his team’s coverage of the aftermath of the Citizens United ruling won the National Press Foundation’s 2011 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting on Congress.
His special report in the Tribune on the lack of emergency medical equipment on commercial airliners sparked Congressional hearings and led the FAA to require U.S. airlines to carry portable defibrillators and emergency medical kits as standard equipment. The report was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism.
“John Crewdson’s investigations have shaken the halls of power and, in many cases, righted injustices,” POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian said. “His work exemplifies POGO’s mission of exposing corruption and exploring solutions.”
In some cases, Crewdson’s work has corrected history. While at the Tribune, he reported on the hundreds of Americans who have falsely claimed to have been awarded the Medal of Honor and debunked the National Institutes of Health’s claim to have discovered the virus that causes AIDS. The latter earned Crewdson the George Polk Award for Medical Reporting.
“For decades, POGO has been widely admired in Washington for its unrelenting determination to delve deeply into the machinery of government, uncover waste, fraud and corruption, and then force Congress and the White House to confront the problems it has exposed,” Crewdson said. “I look forward to contributing to that essential effort.”
Crewdson began his career by covering the Watergate scandal for The New York Times, where he broke stories about the Nixon administration’s illegal wiretaps and domestic spying. In 1981, he won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting at the Times for his coverage of illegal aliens and immigration.
He is the third high-profile addition to POGO’s staff in the last month. In April, veteran Washington Post reporter David Hilzenrath was named POGO’s editor-in-chief. Hilzenrath’s hiring was followed by the addition this month of Winslow Wheeler, a veteran defense analyst and watchdog, who writes regularly for various national publications.