brandish background3.jpg


Words about words, brands, names and naming, and the creative process.

#sparkchamber 121718 — Stephen Janis

121718 janis.jpg

Time magazine’s Person of the Year issue this year is devoted to the guardians in the war on truth — journalists. Today, #sparkchamber is honored to welcome Stephen Janis, an award-winning investigative journalist whose work has won acclaim in both print and television. As the Senior Investigative Reporter for the now defunct Baltimore Examiner, he won two Maryland DC Delaware Press Association Awards for his work on the number of unsolved murders in Baltimore and the killings of prostitutes. His in-depth work on the city’s zero-tolerance policing policy garnered an NAACP’s president’s award, and as an Investigative Producer for WBFF/Fox 45, he won three successive Capital Emmys, two for best Investigative Series and one for Outstanding Historical/Cultural piece.

A co-founder of the independent investigative website Investigative Voice, Janis’ work uncovering corruption and government waste in Baltimore City is chronicled in the 2017 documentary Fit To Print. He is the author two books on the philosophy of policing, Why Do We Kill?: The Pathology of Murder in Baltimore, and You Can't Stop Murder: Truths About Policing in Baltimore and Beyond, as well as two novels, This Dream Called Death, and Orange: The Diary of an Urban Surrealist.

In addition to reporting and directing content for Investigative Voice, he currently teaches journalism at Towson University.

1.] Where do ideas come from?

Primarily from my experience working different stories throughout the city, and the patterns that emerge reporting about them

2.] What is the itch you are scratching?

Survival. Journalism is tough

3.] Early bird or night owl, tortoise or hare?

I have to create quite a bit of content on deadline for several platforms so pretty much ’round the clock

4.] How do you know when you are done?

When a story is posted or published