Joanne Faryon speaking to the Columbia School of Journalism and accepting the Meyer Berger Award with photo-journalist Brad Racino. Read Faryon’s speech here.
Joanne Faryon is an independent journalist and producer specializing in long-form multi-media projects, and a PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs mentor. She is currently producing a podcast about her search for the identity of a man who spent 17 years on life support. Faryon’s strength is taking complex issues and breaking them down into meaningful stories across all platforms. In her project, Impossible Choice, she exposed California’s “vent farms” – special nursing home units where thousands of people spend years on life support. Faryon followed the stories of both a husband and a mother who were forced to decide whether to do everything medically possible to prolong the lives of their loved ones, or let them go. She has gone inside three California prisons to document how sentencing laws contribute to an aging, sick, and expensive prison population. Her documentary, Life in Prison: The Cost of Punishment, has been viewed more one million times on YouTube. She chronicled the final weeks of an 89-year-old man dying of heart disease when examining why one of the country’s most respected hospices was being investigated for Medicare fraud. She was the first journalist to report on the number of immunized people getting sick with whooping cough during the 2010 California epidemic and raise questions about the efficacy of the vaccine. Her work has been broadcast on the PBS NewsHour, NPR, CBC’s flagship TV news program, The National, and across multiple PBS affiliates in California. She has been published in The National Post, (Canada’s national newspaper), Canadian Business Magazine, The Winnipeg Sun, and multiple public media websites. She is also a published poet (You’re Our Man). Faryon’s awards include the Columbia School of Journalism Meyer “Mike” Berger Award for outstanding human interest reporting, a first place national IRE award for investigative journalism in the multiplatform division, the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Journalism, a National Press Foundation Honorable mention, four National and five regional Edward R. Murrow awards, a National Association of Health Care Journalism Award, a Golden Mike for investigative reporting, two emmys, and several San Diego SPJ awards, including the 2015 Mark of Excellence Award, and many San Diego Press Club best of show awards across all platforms. Tweets by @joannefaryon