Firm investigated HuffPost Investigative Fund reporter's 'motivations' for critical stories

PRWatch

In a lengthy story published Tuesday, PRWatch describes how a communications and research firm did a little background research on Danielle Ivory while she was reporting on health risks of the herbicide atrazine. At the time, Ivory was writing for the Huffington Post Investigative Fund; she's now at Bloomberg. The memo from Maverick Strategies to Quinn Thomas Public Affairs states:

We have been asked to prepare a rushed bio for Huffington Post Investigative Fund reporter Danielle Ivory for the purpose of assessing her motivations regarding her coverage on Atrazine. … Our key analysis: Ivory has been described as the reporter who "broke the story on the EPA's Atrazine cover-up," which means her professional reputation and ego are tied to the effectiveness of the attack on the chemical.

The memo notes that the liberal Tides Center had contributed to the Investigative Fund, and it concludes that Ivory's work experience was a "who's who of anti-employer employers." It also says that Ivory "lists no degrees in public health, epidemiology, statistics or other relevant credentials."

PRWatch says the document was unearthed as part of a lawsuit in which water utilities sought to force Syngenta, the company that makes atrazine, to pay them for the cost of filtering the chemical out of drinking water.

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.

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