Meet the Investigations team

Posted on June 22, 2013 

No single quality better defines The News & Observer than its dogged investigative reporting.

Our work is aimed at revealing things our readers don’t know. Recent examples include groundbreaking work on unaccountable spending at the N.C. Rural Center; revealing huge salaries and profits at North Carolina nonprofit hospitals; uncovering no-show classes that benefited athletes at UNC-Chapel Hill; and uncovering how some public employees get big salaries and surprising bonuses while many others were getting no pay increases at all.

Our work has been honored with numerous awards, including recognition from the American Society of News Editors; the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards; the Bartlett & Steele Award for Investigative Business Journalism; the Society of Professional Journalists; the National Headliner Awards; Investigative Reporters and Editors; Associated Press Managing Editors; the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting; and the investigative reporting and public service awards from the North Carolina Press Association.

Who we are:

J. Andrew Curliss

portrait of Andrew CurlissJ. Andrew Curliss has won state and national awards for his coverage of local and state government.

In 2009, Curliss revealed a series of perks accepted by former Gov. Mike Easley, work that led to a $100,000 fine against the governor's campaign and Easley's conviction on a felony charge. His series on former Durham District Attorney Tracey Cline was honored with the Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Newspapers. In 2013, he exposed political influence on grants at the N.C. Rural Center and the center's grants that went toward low-wage jobs and big-box stores.

Contact him at acurliss@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4840

Dan Kane

portrait of Dan KaneDan Kane has written extensively about local and state government, winning state and national awards. His 2010 series, "Keeping Secrets, " led to an overhaul of the state's personnel law and won First Amendment awards from two national groups.

His reporting during the past three years revealed the academic scandal at UNC-Chapel Hill and, along with colleagues J. Andrew Curliss and Andrew Carter, in 2013 he was honored with a National Headliner Award from the Atlantic City Press Club.

Contact him at dan.kane@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4861

Joseph Neff

portrait of Joseph NeffJoseph Neff is a veteran investigative reporter who has written extensively about health care and criminal justice. He and Mandy Locke revealed broad misconduct at the State Bureau of Investigation in 2010, and he exposed the prosecutorial misconduct of former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong in the Duke lacrosse case.

In 2012, Neff teamed with David Raynor and reporters at The Charlotte Observer to produce "Prognosis:Profits," a five-part series that exposed huge profits at some nonprofit hospitals and large salaries paid to top executives, winning multiple national awards. Earlier this year, his two-part narrative, "Bad Chemistry," explored fraudulent research at N.C. State University.

Contact him at joseph.neff@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4516

David Raynor

portrait of David RaynorDavid Raynor is database editor for The N&O. Raynor works with reporters in acquiring, maintaining and analyzing data. He has worked on several award-winning projects, including "Prognosis: Profits," which won more than 10 national journalism awards.

Contact him at david.raynor@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4798


Steve Riley

portrait of Steve RileySteve Riley, has led the newspaper's investigative work since 2003, helping produce 35 multi-part series that have exposed waste, injustice and wrongdoing. Work he has edited has won more than 20 national awards, including the Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Newspapers, the Michael Kelly Award, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for investigative reporting the American News Editors prize for local accountability reporting and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Twice, work he has led has been a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize.

Contact him at steve.riley@newsobserver.com or 919-836-4940

Contact the I-team

Tip: watchdog@newsobserver.com

We can’t chase them all, but we evaluate every tip we get. Please be detailed.

What makes a good tip?

• Be specific. Describe as best as you can what the situation is, over what period of time, who is involved and why this is important for the public to know.

• Help us track it. Tell us what documents exist — letters, e-mails or text messages — that help explain what is going on, and who has possession of them. Tell us who we should be talking to and why.

• Keep the communication lines open. We recognize the desire for anonymity, but we also would like to have a way to contact you to help guide us. Consider allowing us to e-mail or call you.

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