Top Business Journalists Share Their Experiences Covering the Economic Crisis

Three prominent national business journalists will explore the collapse of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and why top banking executives have not been held accountable for the financial crisis of 2008.

The discussions will take place in the Titan Student Union next week at Cal State Fullerton’s annual Communications week.

The guest speakers include David Evans, a Los Angeles-based senior writer at Bloomberg Markets magazine; Alison Fitzgerald, a senior reporter at The Center for Public Integrity, a Washington-based nonprofit group specializing in investigative journalism; and Dawn Kopecki, a Washington-based special projects reporter for Bloomberg News.

Evans Headshot

David Evans, writer at Bloomberg Markets magazine.

Evans’ storied career includes the 2011 Columbia Journalism School’s John Chancellor Award for lifetime achievement. He was a Pulitzer Award finalist in 2011 for “Duping the Families of Fallen Soldiers,” a story that exposed how MetLife, Prudential and other insurance companies concocted a scheme to withhold and profit from $28 billion in death benefits owed to families of service members, including soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Evans will discuss his experience in reporting the story and what the fallout has been.

Evans will also discuss his 2013 investigation of how respected national charities allow telemarketers to mislead donors in order to boost fundraising. The story earned Evans a Sigma Delta Chi award, adding another tribute to a career that includes six Society of American Business Editors and Writers awards, the George Polk Award and two Gerald Loeb Awards, all among the highest accolades in business journalism.

Evans will speak about “Investigative Business Reporting” at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 21, in the Titan Student Union Tuffree AB.

Allison Fitzgerald

Alison Fitzgerald, a senior reporter at The Center for Public Integrity.

Last year, Fitzgerald led a team of reporters that won the prestigious George Polk Award for “After the Meltdown,” a three-part series demonstrating, in the words of the Polk tribute, “that regulators and prosecutors have failed to hold a single major player on Wall Street accountable for the reckless behavior that sparked the 2008 financial crisis, allowing them to live lavishly in its aftermath and permitting some to resume the sort of investment activity that plunged the nation into a deep and debilitating recession.”

She joined the center a year ago after more than a decade at Bloomberg News, where her coverage of the 2008 crisis and government bailout also received several national awards. She is the co-author of In Too Deep: BP and the Drilling Race That Took It Down, a book examining how the oil company’s safety history and culture led to the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Fitzgerald will speak about the Center for Public Integrity and its prize-winning series on the lack of accountability for the financial crisis on Tuesday, April 22, at 11:30 a.m. in Titan Student Union Heterbrink AB.

Dawn Kopecki

Dawn Kopecki, a Washington-based special projects reporter for Bloomberg News.

Kopecki made her mark during an earlier stint in Washington, D.C., covering the mortgage crisis that led to the 2008 financial crisis. She also worked in New York as a Bloomberg Wall Street reporter covering the big banks and their role in the crisis.

Her range of stories, written for Bloomberg News as well as Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Bloomberg Markets magazine, include “Wall Street’s Leadership Vacuum”; “Jamie Dimon’s Risky Business,” a story that persuasively challenged the JPMorgan Chase CEO’s reputation for prudent, risk-averse management; “Women of Wall Street Fall Further Behind”; and “The Accounting Wizardry Behind Banks’ Strong Earnings.”

Kopecki, who appears frequently on Bloomberg Television, was part of the team of Bloomberg reporters who were the 2012 finalists for the finance/economic story of the year award from the U.K.-based Financial Press Association and 2013 finalists for the Gerald Loeb award for their coverage of JPMorgan’s massive trading losses due to a trader known as the Big Whale.

Kopecki’s topic will be “Why You Should Care About What Happens on Wall Street.” She will speak at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23, in Titan Student Union Pavilion B.

These guest speakers have been invited by Joe Winski, the CSUF Reynolds Visiting Business Journalism Professor, with the assistance of a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

“These are some of the best journalists I have ever worked with,” says Winski, who was a colleague of the three speakers during his career at Bloomberg News. “Students of journalism, as well as of business and finance, will find their presentations not only informative but eye-opening.”

For more information about this year’s speakers at Comm Week, visit their information page here.



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