Also known as TWIA, it’s a government-backed insurance agency that provides coverage to property owners in 14 counties most likely to be devastated by a tropical storm. I got into it last year with this agency when it tried to cover up some personnel issues. That began a long trail of reporting in which I found that a state lawmaker had been paid off in a legal battle involving the agency, the agency had tried to shine on fraud in its ranks and it was handing out money and bonuses like it was a private corporation. I’ll admit I took it personally when the agencyrefused my open records requests, or when it wanted to prevent me from listening in to one of its board meetings. Personal feelings should sit on the sidelines when you do something like this, and they did for the most part. Still…
The award is the kind that I can say “I always wanted one of those.” Getting an award from the journalism establishment mixes me a weird cocktail of professional satisfaction and the glee of getting away with something.
Or as I told my pal Chris Vogal, who is an extraordinary reporter at L.A. Weekly, “It feels like I robbed a liquor store and got away with it.”
But I am thankful that both the folks who run the Edgars and the SABEW read my stuff and dug it enough to give it some props. Journalists usually operate in a vacuum and we never know who’s reading. Once in a while it’s nice to get a stroke. But then it’s just back to the work, the only thing that really matters.
Steve Miller is an investigative reporter with over two decades of experience in daily newspaper, Web and magazine reporting and writing. Miller has done time as a court and cops beat reporter at the Dallas Morning News and as a national reporter for the Washington Times, and as a correspondent for national publications including People magazine, High Times, Boston Magazine, Miami New Times, Houston Press, The Daily Beast and U.S. News and World Report. In 2012, he was an Edgar award finalist for his book, Girl, Wanted: The Chase for Sarah Pender. He is a recipient of the digital investigative award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Miller was also the former vocalist in the Midwest punk rock outfit the Fix in 1980-81.
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