Sarah Ryley, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, spoke to Hunter Journalism students last week in Neighborhood News, the class that produces the Hunts Point Express newspaper and website. She delivered two seminars designed to help students see what data is out there — literally at their finger tips — and what they can do with it once they get it.
Ryley’s New York Daily News series on the NYPD’s use of the nuisance abatement law to push mostly poor minorities out of their businesses and homes, done in partnership with ProPublica, resulted in sweeping changes to the law, the Pulitzer and Hunter’s own Aronson Award. Read her work here.
Ryley is now an investigative reporter at The Trace, a non-profit newsroom that covers gun issues in America, focusing on urban policing.
From 2012 – 2017, she was an investigative journalist and an editor at the News, where she reported extensively on “broken windows” policing and the intersection of criminal and civil law. Her work there triggered numerous reforms, including the passage of the Nuisance Abatement Fairness Act and the Criminal Justice Reform Act, the creation of several units of government to analyze police misconduct lawsuits, and numerous official investigations and changes in policy.
Prior to The News, Ryley was an investigative producer for the national tablet publication The Daily where she reported on a range of topics, such as Homeland Security, high-profile criminal trials, the real estate market and tax shelters. She started her career in 2006 as a beat reporter covering New York’s billions of dollars worth of development projects at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Her earliest impacts included helping to save an Underground Railroad home from eminent domain and jump-starting the construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park.
She studied journalism at Wayne State University in Detroit and was editor of the student newspaper there.