Now at Forbes, Matt Drange lands the Trump biz beat

 

Even as a news reporter and columnist on The Lumberjack, Matt Drange (‘10) saw himself as an investigative reporter.

Last year, Forbes lured Drange away from the Center for Investigative Reporting, where, with colleague Suzanne Rust, he showed how the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund cleanup program had in some cases caused more harm than good. Congress opened a formal inquiry of the EPA as a result of the stories. At Forbes, he has documented the sale of guns via Facebook by people trying to evade gun control laws and he revealed that billionaire investor Peter Thiel was secretly financing a series of lawsuits against the now defunct Gawker Media. That reporting became the foundation of a documentary that premiered at Sundance, called “Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press.”

In May, Forbes assigned him to a new beat: covering businesses owned by the Trump family. 

It was on the Lumberjack that Drange did his first big investigative story. With classmate Karina Gonzalez, the two exposed how HSU overspent on faculty travel.

Drange started his professional news career at the Times-Standard during his senior year first as a summer intern and then as a full-time staff reporter, which forced him to work assignments around his classes.

“I knew I would have to adjust my class schedule and would probably have to skip out on some assignments,” Drange said. 

The sacrifice was worth it. While at the Times-Standard, Drange published a series on a class-action lawsuit against a national nursing home chain, which at the time owned a handful of problematic local facilities. 

After graduation, Drange was accepted into a prestigious fellowship program at the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University, where he received a master’s degree.

He spent the following summer at the Maine Center for Investigative Reporting, where he revealed “bogus” job creation claims by local lawmakers running for Congress and investigated rampant sexual harassment and abuse inside the state’s prison system.