Nigel Jaquiss' reporting led to the resignation of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, earning him the highest honor given out by the Investigative Reporters & Editors.
That Nigel Jaquiss was the reporter who brought down Oregon's governor is hardly a surprise. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for reporting that former Oregon governor and ex-Cabinet official Neil Goldschmidt, a revered figure in the state, had had a long-term sexual relationship with a teenage babysitter.
Watch what really happened when Willamette Week kicked a U.S. Senate candidate out of its offices.
"After last week, Portland's politicians may think twice about trying to put one over" on Willamette Week's Pulitzer-winning reporter Nigel Jaquiss, according to Newsweek reporter Winston Ross. On Jan. 19, Jaquiss broke the news that Portland mayor Sam Adams had sex with an 18-year-old legislative intern and then lied about it. Newsweek notes that WW trumped other news outlets that were pursuing the story: "Jaquiss's scoop is significant not only because it represents the second huge political figure his journalism has humbled in a period of four years, but also because of whom he beat out to get the story: the much larger and much more heavily financed Oregonian."
Portland city commissioner Amanda Fritz and University of Oregon journalism ethics professor Tom Bivins both raise questions about whether the public is being served by Nigel Jaquiss' expose revealing that Portland Mayor Sam Adams had a sexual relationship with 18-year-old Beau Breedlove in 2005. But Jaquiss, who won a Pulitzer in 2005 for an investigation exposing a former Oregon governor's sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old girl, says the criticism is misguided. "This is not a story about sex, and it's not a story about sexual preferences," he tells Oregon Public Broadcasting. "This is a story about a politician who has lied, and who has then had to deal with that vulnerability."
On Monday, the paper published Nigel Jaquiss' expose revealing that Portland Mayor Sam Adams, contrary to his earlier denials, confessed to having had a sexual relationship with 18-year-old Beau Breedlove in 2005. Adams, who was sworn in as Portland's first openly gay mayor on Jan. 1, apologized yesterday for lying and for forcing Breedlove to lie. Also caught up in the City Hall scandal is the Portland Mercury, which was pursuing the story along with WW. Former news editor Amy J. Ruiz was one of two Mercury writers working on the story; subsequently, Adams hired her to be his planning and sustainability policy adviser. "It never crossed my mind that [Adams] might have hired me to keep me quiet," Ruiz says. Adams says Ruiz earned the position on merit. "Amy was hired because of her smarts," he says. Meanwhile, Mercury editor Wm. Steven Humphrey says that the paper didn't sit on the story, but merely lost the race to the finish line to Jaquiss.
Pulitzer-winning journalist Nigel Jaquiss is in the running for a 2006 Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism, it was announced today. Jaquiss' investigation into the planned sale of Portland General Electric is a finalist in the "Small Newspapers" category (for newspapers with circulation of less than 150,000). Winners will be announced June 26.
WW's Nigel Jaquiss won the Local Circulation Weeklies certificate for exposing a secret deal to sell Portland General Electric. "Jaquiss' reporting is widely credited with scuttling the deal," according to the judges' comments. L.A. Weekly, Fort Worth Weekly, and City Pages (Twin Cities) were also finalists. In the Student Work category, J. David McShane won for his undercover work that revealed U.S. Army recruiters were using improper tactics. McShane initially wrote the piece for his high school newspaper but subsequently expanded it for publication in Westword. The annual awards from Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc., recognize outstanding investigative work.
San Francisco was invaded by 261 enthusiastic newspaper professionals last weekend when the AAN West conference hit town. The highly-anticipated Saturday keynote speech by Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, passed without physical skirmish, despite a lively question-and-answer session. Many of the seminars were equally lively, and the parties -- well, you had to be there.
In a Nov. 30 cover story, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Nigel Jaquiss exposed the involvement of the local management of Portland General Electric in "tax dodges and financial machinations that cost Oregonians nearly $1 billion over the past eight years." Jaquiss supported his claim with financial records and copies of internal e-mails. As a result, the Portland City Commissioner launched a criminal investigation into PGE, the state's largest utility. The investigation was written up (with due credit to Willamette Week) in The Oregonian and several other outlets. In addition, in November a public defender resigned after WW revealed his indecency convictions and a fire official was fined as a result of wrongdoing exposed by the paper.