Julie Patel is a journalism professor at Fullerton College and a national Emmy Award-winning journalist. She previously worked at the Better Government Association and the Center for Public Integrity, investigative journalism nonprofits. At the Center, she delved into money-in-politics and the Internal Revenue Service. For her IRS project, she interviewed dozens of current and former employees, reviewed thousands of pages of agency records, and unveiled the real scandal at the IRS: The agency wasn’t doing its job regulating nonprofits that engage in electioneering. Her stories were part of a package that won an Editor & Publisher EPPY award and was a finalist for a 2015 Online Journalism Award.
Julie also worked as an investigative reporter for WAMU-FM 88.5, the National Public Radio affiliate in Washington, D.C., where a simple question – why are D.C. developers getting hefty building subsidies when the city has one of the hottest real estate markets in the country? – led to a multimedia project that won nine journalism awards and honors in 2013 and 2014. The 5-day “Deals for Developers” series found subsidies intended to revitalize depressed areas went mostly to wealthier wards; did not deliver on promises of jobs and affordable housing; and substantially went to developers who donated the most campaign cash to elected officials approving the deals.
She spent most of her career at the South Florida Sun Sentinel and San Jose Mercury News. In Florida, her work included a series of stories revealing cozy ties between regulators and the state’s largest utility – which, at the time, was requesting a record-shattering rate hike during an economic downturn. At the Mercury News, she covered race and demographics, education, local government and the San Francisco 49ers’ proposed stadium in the South Bay. She worked on several award-winning projects, including a multimedia story that earned a 2008 Emmy award. Julie received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree from Stanford University. She was born in India and raised in Chicago.