Award-winning journalist to speak at Georgia State

Last Updated April 13, 2014 at 11:46 a.m.

Former reporter for The Center of Investigative Reporting reporter and 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist Corey Johnson will speak to students at Georgia State about life-changing journalism on April 16 at 12:30 p.m. on the eighth floor of 25 Park Place.

Johnson said his plunge into investigative journalism was due to his interest in news and desire to find a passion.

“For me, it was accidental,” he said. “I had graduated from college with a psychology degree, but that really wasn’t my passion. And yet I was also developing an intense curiosity about news and wanting to make a difference in people’s lives and all that good stuff but I’m going to go into the full story during the speech.”

Georgia News Lab Project Director David Armstrong said Johnson’s work and rise in the investigative journalism field is an illustration of what can be achieved through dedication.

“He’s dynamic; just incredible,” he said. “Somebody who has come from a very non-traditional background pulled himself up…through the ranks, and done incredible work. He’s widely recognized as a fantastic investigative reporter, and I really think a great model for the kind of work that can be done for somebody who has the grit and determination.”

Armstrong said he believes students will benefit from hearing how Johnson stumbled into the investigative field and now reports on issues significant to people.

“Corey is a fantastic speaker,” he said. “Somebody who not only tells great stories but also, I think, really imparts the reason why this kind of work gets done. He manages to really dig and find stories that matter to people.”

Georgia State student Vaughn Barnett said he thinks Johnson’s work impacts communities.

“From what I’ve seen and read, it sounds like he’s doing something real positive for the community with his investigative reporting, and that’s always a plus,” he said.

Johnson said he hopes his personal story will aid students by teaching them tools to use in their lives.

“I hope that they will come away inspired. I hope that they will come away with a few tips or tricks that they can apply to their own life,” he said.