Award-winning Journalism

Aaron produces journalism with impact. His work has sparked more than a dozen congressional hearings, numerous laws and criminal probes by the Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, Pentagon and Federal Trade Commission and been honored with many of journalism’s most prestigious awards. A two-time Peabody Award winner, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, multiple Emmy Award nominee and winner of the Selden Ring and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, his work has appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America and PBS NewsHour. Below are examples of some of his work and the change that it made.

Co-authored with Reveal’s Emmanuel Martinez, this sweeping investigation into modern-day redlining sparked investigations by six state attorneys general and led major banks like JPMorgan Chase to open new branches in neighborhoods of color. Winner of the Peabody Award and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, it also received the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting.

A deep dive into how the Community Reinvestment Act, a 1977 law designed to prevent redlining, was in fact spurring gentrification and leading to the displacement of people of color from neighborhoods they’d long called home. It received the Alfred I. duPont -Columbia Award and was nominated for a national Emmy Award for business reporting.

This Reveal radio documentary showed how one of Tom Barrack, Donald Trump’s closest friends, had used the Great Recession to amass more than 30,000 single-family homes and become a modern-day slumlord. The day after the story ran, Barrack quit the board of the company he founded and sold all his stock,

This national Emmy Award-nominated award investigation showed how the for-profit University of Phoenix had used a cozy relationship with the military to become the number one choice of soldiers and veterans seeking to use their GI Bill education benefit — despite its high cost and low graduation rate. The Pentagon responded by launching an investigation and kicking University of Phoenix recruiters off military bases around the world.

This 2015 investigation into rampant overmedication at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Tomah, Wisconsin led to a series of Congressional hearings and criminal investigations by the DEA, FBI, and the VA’s own inspector general. A year after the story ran, President Barack Obama signed legislation named for a veteran who died in Tomah, the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act, which dramatically changed the way veterans’ hospitals dispensed potentially dangerous pain medication.

This Peabody Award-winning and national Emmy nominated expose into runaway opioid prescriptions in Department of Veterans Affairs was based on an analysis of ten years of prescription data obtained using the Freedom of Information Act. We found that the VA was doping up veterans veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan and then feeding their addictions, leading to an overdose rate among VA patients that was double the national average.

This story revealed that wait times for veterans benefits had reached so long that the Departmet of Veterans Affairs had paid $437 million in retroactive benefits to the survivors of nearly 19,500 veterans who died waiting. As a result of this story, all VA workers claims staff around the country were forced to work overtime for months. Today, approximately 500,000 fewer veterans are waiting for benefits.

This investigation revealed that the Department of Veterans Affairs was aware of more than 4,200 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who had died after leaving the military. More than half died within two years of discharge. Nearly 1,200 were receiving disability compensation for a mental health condition, the most common of which was post-traumatic stress disorder. It led the VA Inspector General to launch an investigation into the death of one veteran, who stepped in front of a train after being turned away from the VA hospital in Palo Alto, California.

This investigation used public health records to show that three times as many Iraq and Afghanistan veterans from California were dying at home from suicide and risky behavior than were dying in the war itself. It received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and led the VA to begin tracking suicide among veterans for the first time.