PD Launching Spotlight-style Investigative Team, Looking for Uniquely Northeast Ohio Name


The Plain Dealer Plaza at 1801 Superior Avenue - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • The Plain Dealer Plaza at 1801 Superior Avenue

The skeletal Plain Dealer has assembled several of its most senior reporters and grouped them together as a watchdog team. Individually and as a unit, they'll tackle investigative and enterprise stories and pursue the solutions-oriented journalism that editor George Rodrigue has championed in recent years.

An introductory piece last week noted that the "Spotlight" name had already been taken — by no less than the Boston Globe's investigative team, subject of the 2016 award-winning film — and that the PD team will be coming up with a name of its own, one that might be uniquely inspired by Northeast Ohio.

Senior Investigative Reporter Rachel Dissell is among these newly amassed watchdoggers, naturally, alongside her Toxic Neglect reporting partner Brie Zeltner. Brian Albrecht, who covers a lot of war-related human interest stories, education reporter Patrick O'Donnell and veteran investigative reporter John Caniglia are on hand as well. Rounding out the team are two veteran columnists, Mike McIntyre and Andrea Simakis. Together, they have more than 200 years of reporting experience under their belts, and expertise in a wide array of subjects.

The team will be edited by Ellen Stein Burbach, who joined the PD in 1999 as its Sunday Magazine editor.

An online survey invites readers to help direct the team's editorial coverage and to offer suggestions for a name.

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