Nigel Jaquiss of Willamette Week, one of the nation’s most acclaimed investigative reporters, will receive the coveted National Press Foundation Chairman’s Citation award at the annual NPF awards dinner on Feb. 11 in Washington.
Jaquiss and his editors at Willamette Week have repeatedly shown that even the smallest media company can produce journalism of the highest order and utmost consequence to readers and residents.
Jaquiss—“the scariest man in khakis you’ll ever meet”—according to Portland Monthly magazine– has repeatedly exposed corruption in Oregon politics. In a series of reports from 2014 to 2015, Jaquiss revealed conflicts of interest and misuse of state resources by Gov. John Kitzhaber’s fiancée Cylvia Hayes that led to a federal criminal investigation. Kitzhaber, a long-time fixture in state politics, resigned.
In 2009, Jaquiss forced Portland mayor Sam Adams to backtrack on denials he had an affair with a legislative intern. Before that, his reporting on Gov. Neil Goldschmidt’s long concealed sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old girl led to a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 2005.
“Nigel Jaquiss has demonstrated that in this digital world, we must still return to the craft of journalism to hold our institutions, our politicians, and our society accountable,” said NPF board chairman Heather Dahl. “Jaquiss and his editors are an inspiration to all of us because they show us that it is not the medium in which we publish, the cool digital tools we wield, the social media following we develop, the personal brand we market, or the click bait headlines we craft that brings injustice and corruption to light; it’s the facts—the facts uncovered by reporting and reporting and reporting some more until the truth sees daylight.”
Jaquiss has been a journalist at Willamette Week in Portland, Ore. since 1998. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize in 2005, he has won other national awards including the 2014 Investigative Reporters and Editors medal for reporting on Kitzhaber. Before joining Willamette Week, Jaquiss traded oil for 11 years in New York and Singapore. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
The Chairman’s Citation is determined solely by the chairman of the nonprofit journalism education foundation and honors individuals or organizations whose work falls outside traditional categories of excellence. Previous honorees have included cybersecurity investigative journalist and author Brian Krebs; the late Anthony Shadid of the New York Times; Al Hunt, editor at Bloomberg News; Colbert I. King, columnist with the Washington Post; Otis Chandler, former publisher of the Los Angeles Times; and the journalists of the Gulf Coast, who kept working through Hurricane Katrina despite great personal suffering.
The award will be presented on Thursday, Feb. 11, at the 40th Anniversary NPF Awards Dinner in Washington. The dinner is NPF’s largest source of unrestricted revenue and supports its all-expenses-paid programs for journalists in the U.S. and globally. A complete list of NPF award winners can be found here. Click here for Jaquiss’ bio.