LA School Report is thrilled to welcome Sarah Favot to the team as writer/reporter.
Favot’s data-driven, investigative and political reporting will bolster the breadth and depth of education coverage in California for LA School Report and nationwide for The 74.
Favot comes to LA School Report from the Los Angeles Daily News where she covered Los Angeles County government and courts as well as breaking news, crime and education.
Favot analyzed campaign finance records to track the flow of money to politicians from the gas company following the nation’s largest natural gas leak, uncovered corruption and the hardest-to-place children in the foster care system, identified the county’s second-highest-paid employee who didn’t work a single day in a year, provided detailed summaries of the county’s march toward a $15 minimum wage and unearthed a story about the county coroner’s quirky gift shop as it found itself under the ax.
She was promoted to the L.A. Daily News after her award-winning work at the Pasadena Star-News, where she was the lead data reporter and writer on an 18-month investigation into unsolved homicides in Los Angeles County.
For the project, “Getting Away with Murder,” Favot created and analyzed a database of 11,244 homicides over 11 years in Los Angeles County, chronicling 4,862 cold cases. The massive public-records quest from nearly 100 agencies was the first time such data had ever been collated.
The project, which included an interactive database and map, 10-page special section, analysis, videos and dozens of stories, led to numerous tips to law enforcement agencies on unsolved cases. The project won two California Newspaper Publishers Association awards and was a finalist for Online News Association’s 2015 University of Florida Award in Investigative Data Journalism.
Favot also wrote extensively about the world renowned manufacturer of Huy Fong Foods Sriracha hot sauce and the company’s battle with city officials in the town where the plant was located. Her data-driven reporting led her to break the story that only four households were responsible for the majority of complaints that threatened to drive out the company. Reporting about the incident caught the attention of Gov. Jerry Brown, who intervened in the dispute, keeping the company and hundreds of jobs in Los Angeles County.
A native of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Favot began her reporting career in 2009 at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting while working toward her master’s degree in journalism at Boston University.
At NECIR, Favot was part of an investigative reporting team that analyzed the cases of juvenile offenders serving mandatory life without parole sentences. Her story won a regional Mark of Excellence award from the Society of Professional Journalists, a 2012 David S. Barr Social Justice Award and was a finalist for a 2011 Livingston Award for Young Journalists. Much of her work was published in the Boston Globe.
After earning her master’s, Favot joined the staff of the Lowell, Massachusetts Sun. She was part of a team of journalists who covered the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 and the bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Favot sits on the board of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter Society of Professional Journalists and has been a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) since 2009. She is passionate about baking, running and the Detroit Tigers.