OLD Media Moves

WSJ reporter Dugan leaving after 18 years

April 20, 2018

Posted by Chris Roush

Ianthe Dugan
Ianthe Dugan

Wall Street Journal reporter Ianthe Dugan sent out the following email on Friday:

Dear Colleagues,

After 18 years at The Wall Street Journal, I am leaving the paper to begin the exciting second half of my journalism career.

In 2000, after winning a Loeb for beat reporting at The Washington Post, I was wooed to The Journal by Mike Siconolfi and Larry Ingrassia (along with Paul Steiger and Dan Hertzberg) for a dream job: writing enterprise for the front page. Four years ago, I had the privilege to join the newly-formed investigative team, run by Mike and Jenn.

I have been blown away by the depth of talent in this newsroom, and how towering journalism is produced when editors, reporters and bureaus coordinate.

My first leder was handled by Dan Kelly, an editing genius and gentleman farmer. In 2001, I worked with four writing maestros (Helene Cooper, Phil Kuntz, Brian Gruley and Josh Prager) exploring five lives shattered by the September 11 attacks. I have parachuted into meltdowns at AIG, Enron, Arthur Andersen, Lehman Brothers and, lately, the crazy world of crypto currency.

With Susanne Craig and Kate Kelly, I worked on Loeb-winning stories about front-running by the New York Stock Exchange. Mike Miller advised me to approach the story “like Margaret Mead” to explain the corrosive culture, resulting in a lede about a bizarre ritual known as the “33333 Club.”

The datelines run the gamut: Port-au-Prince, Haiti (where I covered the earthquake alongside David Luhnow and Jose DeCordoba, with Jesse Pesta editing and Rebecca Blumenstein championing stories); Hydra, Greece (where I broke away from a wedding to pitch into stories about the financial crisis with Marcus Walker and Bruce Orwall); Windsor, N.C. (where I waded through swampland for a leder with Justin Scheck about how trees in the U.S. were being sacrificed to generate emissions credits in Europe); Nonsuch Island, Bermuda (for a story about a man who discovered bird that was thought to be extinct); University Place, Wash. (where I landed after Rick Brooks asked me to chronicle the credit downgrading of America).

In Saylorsburg, Penn., in 2016, I met the exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen and wrote a leder with Doug Belkin about how charter schools became a proxy in the battle between the cleric and the president of Turkey. (Matthew Rose expertly coordinated and Steve Yoder edited.) It was part of a package (led by Meg Coker) that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting last year.

I sat beside John Carreyrou and Chris Stewart as they (with the healthcare team) cranked out a Pulitzer-prize-winning series on Medicare, and, later as John unmasked Theranos. I was within earshot of the “Danas” breaking M&A news, and Mike Rothfeld reporting out Stormy Daniels. The data wunderkinds and researchers were unparalleled.

Mike Siconolfi is a talented and tough leader, allowing room for deep dives while demanding the impossible. Urged to go to Silicon Valley and “return with the goods” on autonomous cars, I tracked down engineers and came back to NY with a manifesto outlining issues at Tesla that “threatened customers’ lives.” A leder I wrote with Mike Spector, along with stories by Jack Nicas and Tim Higgins, won a Society of American Business Editors and Writers award in February for transportation coverage “for the deeply reported insight into perhaps the biggest issue facing the transportation industry: self-driving cars.”

I have tallied peer-to-peer loans with Telis Demos, Tesla finances with Susan Pulliam, rooftop telecom safety violations with Ryan Knutsen, and campaign contributions with Brody Mullins, my partner on stories about Norman Hsu, the Democratic bundler, who two years ago in his Milan, Mich., jail cell told me: “I was greedy.”

This place is a goldmine. I’m going to miss my colleagues and friends. Please keep in touch.

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