Investigative Journalism in the Age of BuzzFeed

While shrinking editorial staffs and slashed investigative reporting budgets have impaired investigative reporting, some of the best stories are pumped out of Detroit. The Detroit Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications and the Detroit Press Club were proud to co-sponsor a dinner meeting with three of the best reporters in town, moderated  by a champion of FOIA.

On March 24, 2016, AWC presented a blockbuster panel including Tresa Baldas, federal courts reporter for the Detroit Free Press, Chad Livengood, political reporter for the Detroit News and Chastity Pratt-Dawsey, urban affairs reporter for Bridge Magazine. Moderated by Robin Luce Herrmann, General Counsel to the Michigan Press Association (MPA) and legal adviser to the MPA and the Michigan Bar Association on issues like the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act.

Thanks to UptownPR for the Event Slide Show! Be sure to scroll down the page to check out the evening’s recap.

AWC-Detroit Chapter – Authors (our Members) Roundtable

AWC members are many things, including award-winning journalists and authors. On November 19, 2015 we had the rare opportunity to chat with four chapter members who have books either recently or soon-to-be published.

Pat Anstett

patIn her 40 years as a newspaper reporter in Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Detroit, including 22 years as medical writer at the Detroit Free Press, Patricia Anstett has covered the nation’s top women’s health stories. Breast cancer has been a dominant focus of her reporting.

About Pat’s Book: Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What is Right for You Modern breast cancer surgery and reconstruction bring more choices than ever for American women to treat or prevent breast cancer. This book blends powerful insights from women who have been there with reporting and story-telling by a long-time medical writer and an award-winning photographer. For more information, visit the website at:    

Joanne C. Gerstner

joanneJoanne Gerstner is an award-winning multi-platform sports journalist and Sports Journalist in Residence at MSU, where she is part of the sports journalism faculty team and past president and chair of the board for the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM). She is the inaugural 2014 AWSM Ann Miller Award recipient, for advancing women in sports media.

About Joanne’s Book: Concussion Clarity  Concussion Clarity looks at multiple sides of the issue, from the athlete, coaching, parenting, and sports neurologist perspectives, in the strongest account yet of what needs to be considered in youth athletics. Dr. Jeff Kutcher, a board certified neurologist who specializes in sports, and sports writer Joanne Gerstner, tackle the issues of athletics and brain health in a frank discussion. For more information, visit

Laura Hedgecock

lauraLaura Hedgecock is an author, freelance writer, speaker and blogger who enjoys spreading the message that personal and family narratives connect loved ones with family and their ancestry. In addition to her blog at, Laura is co-founder and contributing blogger at and frequently guest-posts at other sites.

About Laura’s Book: Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life  Shortly before her death, Laura’s grandmother passed on an old spiral notebook filled with memories and stories, her “Treasure Chest of Memories.” MEMORIES OF ME guides and empowers memory collectors with down-to-earth, practical advice and creative ideas.

Maureen McDonald

maureenOver the years Maureen has written for numerous local and national publications and collaborated and/or contributed to several books, including “MyTown Miracles: Profiles of Possibility,” with late local photographer Les Ward and “Sirens of Chrome, The Enduring Allure of Auto Show Models.” Currently writing her first novel, “Nice Whyte Neighborhood,” she worked as a researcher for two of Michael Moore’s documentaries and taught journalism at Wayne State  and U of D Mercy. Maureen also is president of the Detroit Press Club.

About Maureen’s Book: Nice Whyte Neighborhood  An all American family guesses the correct number of nails in a jar at the builders’ show in the late 1950s and wins a model home in an up-and-coming suburb. Underneath the racially pure subdivisions and excellent school system lies a diabolical plot to depopulate Detroit and throw its citizens into spasms of fear. Unless the Whytes can stop the corrupt administration from total takeover of society.

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