AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

Student's reporting leads to AJC story on missing campaign funds

Ciara Bri'd Frisbie had never seen a campaign finance report until the Georgia State junior was assigned to look at some for the Fulton County Commission in her investigative journalism class.

What she found led to a lead story in today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution about $80,000 that disappeared from the campaign reports of former Fulton commissioner Bill Edwards in 2010. Frisbie will be on Channel 2 Action News tonight at 5 p.m. to talk about her findings, which have already prompted Edwards to hire an auditor to find out what happened to the money.

Frisbie's reporting grew out of a new and important collaboration among Georgia's leading universities, the AJC and WSB TV to promote student journalists and help them learn skills in investigative reporting. The Georgia News Lab is led by GSU professor David Armstrong and draws students from GSU, UGA, Morehouse, Clark Atlanta, Emory, Kennesaw State and Mercer.

Armstrong puts the students through rigorous training in document research and analysis. Stories, like today's piece on Edwards' campaign reports, find a home in the AJC and on Channel 2 Action News.

Take a moment to read the story and let us know what you think. Did you like the story? Should news organizations do more stories like these? You can comment on the story in the online comment field. And tune in to Channel 2 tonight at 5 p.m. to watch investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer interview Edwards and Frisbie about the findings.

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About the Author

Ken Foskett has been an AJC reporter and editor since 1989 and is the Senior Editor/Investigations.