About the editor: Jim Walls
I’m an ink-stained wretch. Or a reporter’s editor. Or clunky and unpolished. More likely, all three and then some. I won’t even tell you what my reporters used to call me. Ask them if you run into them.
I was a print journalist for 38 years, the last 28 at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, primarily as an editor. I ran the Gwinnett County bureau and the suburban, city and night desks at various times. I was privileged to work with a team of very talented investigative reporters for my last 12 years at the AJC.
When the newspaper trimmed its staff in 2008, I took a buyout and prepared to change careers. But plans changed as I watched the newspaper business implode along with the public service journalism that I devoted my career to. So Atlanta Unfiltered was born to support and promote investigative journalism in Georgia.
A journalist’s work speaks for itself. Here are some of the AJC stories I supervised:
- A matter of life or death: A 2-year investigation of the death penalty in Georgia
- Dying in darkness: Preventable deaths in Georgia’s group homes
- Cotton bailout: How your tax dollars prop up big growers and squeeze the little guy
- Wired for waste: How Atlanta Public Schools burned through $70 million in federal technology funds
- Welcome to America: On abuses in federal programs to resettle refugees from war and persecution
- Selling Atlanta’s children: On child prostitution
- The Clarence Thomas you don’t know (3-day profile)
Honors and awards
Editors don’t generally get their names on journalism prizes. But here are a few awards won by projects that I supervised:
- Philip Meyer Journalism Award, National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (2nd place), 2007
- Goldsmith Prize for investigative reporting (finalist), 2005
- Health Care Journalism Award, National Institute for Health Care Management, 2002
- Silver Gavel Award for public service, American Bar Association, 1994
- Silver Gavel Award for public service, State Bar of Georgia, 1994, 1999, 2001 Green Eyeshade Awards, investigative reporting, 2005
- Best of Cox Awards: public service, 1999, 2002; investigative reporting, 2001, 2005; writer of the year, 2002
- Georgia Associated Press:
- story of the year, 2002, 2007
- public service, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2007
- non-deadline reporting, 1998, 1999, 2008
- eature writing, 2001
- Georgia Press Association:
- community service, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2002
- hard news writing, 1998, 1999
- investigative reporting, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008
- Special projects/investigation editor (1996-2008)
- Assistant metro editor (1992-96)
- Suburban editor, city editor, acting metro editor (1988-92)
- Night city desk (1984-88)
- Gwinnett bureau chief (1984)
- Reporter, Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb county courts & government (1980-83)
- reporter, state news editor (1977-80)
Globe Newspapers, Fairfax, Va.
- reporter & editor (1972-77, sandwiched around a 1-year gap when I took off to see America)
- Graduated 1970, Annandale High School, Annandale, Va.