Dean Starkman, veteran business and investigative reporter, writes for and runs The Audit, an online critique of financial journalism, part of Columbia Journalism Review, published by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
In June, Starkman finished a yearlong stint as a Katrina Media Fellow at the Open Society Institute, which has supported his reporting and writing as well as his blog, InsuranceTransparencyProject.com.
As a Fellow, Starkman explored the insurance industry's response to Hurricane Katrina—as a business, but also as a window onto wider issues confronting the U.S. insurance system, its regulators, and, especially, its customers. In 2005, he covered white-collar crime and the insurance industry on a contract in the New York bureau of the Washington Post.
Starkman spent eight years at The Wall Street Journal, where he covered white-collar crime and the paper industry, and served as national real estate writer, exploring, among other investigative stories, the troubled reconstruction of the World Trade Center. His work on eminent domain, beginning in 1998, was cited in Congressional testimony and elsewhere as having triggered the national debate that ended in the 2005 Kelo v. City of New London Supreme Court case.
A former chief of The Providence Journal's investigative unit, he helped lead the team that won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Investigations, for a probe of Rhode Island's court system. The series led to the indictment of a former state Supreme Court chief justice and a former House speaker, and an overhaul of judicial selection methods. Other investigations led to indictments of other public officials, including former Rhode Island governor Edward D. DiPrete and his son, Dennis, and, in separate probes, of a Providence police commander and four sergeants. A probe of a derailed Justice Department investigation of a Providence-based labor official led to Congressional hearings on the matter. He began his career as a staff reporter for the Anniston (Ala.) Star, covering rural counties, cops and courts, where he won Associated Press awards for an investigation of Alabama's coroner system, which he co-wrote, and for a story on a unionization struggle and unsafe working conditions at a Georgia steel mill.
He is a graduate of McGill University, in Montreal, where he was a University Scholar, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York. He lives in Brooklyn.