How investigative journalist Carrie Teegardin presses on

Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigative journalist Carrie Teegardin. Photo by Ben Gray XT046804.JPG

Credit: Ben Gray

Credit: Ben Gray

Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigative journalist Carrie Teegardin. Photo by Ben Gray XT046804.JPG

A lot of my life looks like yours. I’m the mom of two teenagers. I have a golden retriever, and I go to church on Sunday – mostly virtual for now. I’ve adopted this giant, sophisticated city as my home, after growing up in a much different setting in Ohio where I rode horses and went to 4-H meetings. But always and forever, I wanted to find a job, like the one I have at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that allowed me to make a difference.

Our best stories always start with a tip, a discovery in documents or just an inkling that something is wrong in how the world works – and as a result, somebody is getting hurt.

Once, it was evidence that doctors who sexually abuse their patients rarely faced serious consequences. Another time it was a phone call from a source. He told me a church-affiliated charity that resettled refugees in Atlanta was taking government money and abandoning the new arrivals in dangerous housing.

These days, I track COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths across the state, checking the stats every day.

For many years now, I’ve dug into databases and documents and listened to human stories to get to the truth and try to make Georgia a better place.

Sometimes this work takes just a few days, but often it takes months.

When our reporting is so deep, a problem becomes undeniable.

Let me give you an example. We saw evidence that fancy assisted living communities popping up across Georgia were not what they seemed. We read every inspection report for every facility. We collected hundreds of police reports for incidents at these facilities. I rated every violation in every home for seriousness, and we built a website so families could get information that was previously hidden.

It took months, even working every weekend. The case was so airtight that by the time we were finished publishing our investigation, lawmakers started writing legislation. A reform law passed last year with no opposition.

That kind of result is why I do what I do.

I couldn’t do this kind of in-depth reporting without the support of our readers. Your subscription – your willingness to pay for the news you consume – supports a team of investigative reporters who need time and resources to prove the case.

I’ve spent 30 years doing that job here in Atlanta. For that, I want to thank you. With your help, I’ll keep doing it.

Please support the work of your journalists. Start a subscription today. If you’re already a subscriber, thank you. With your support, we can keep you informed with real, fact-based news. It’s worth knowing what’s really going on.