Submitted by Sarah Eldred

Will Craft: “Every so often, when I am in a meeting or listening to people work around me, I just think, ‘Wow, this is my job. I get paid to do this,’ which is pretty amazing.”

What’s it like to have worked on In The Dark, APM Reports’ new podcast that hit the #1 spot on iTunes before the first full episode was even launched? Will Craft knows.

As a data reporting intern, Will is on his second internship with APMG. He was working in California at KPCC as a data intern when,

“On the last day of my internship in September 2015, an email was sent out looking for a data reporting intern to start work with APM Reports (though we didn’t have the name at the time). I wanted to be an investigative reporter, and especially love using tech and computers, so I applied and moved out to Minnesota when I was offered the job.”

What’s it take to be an investigative reporter? Will explains: “…it means learning how to ask the right questions, how to do research, and how to strategize and think through an investigation.” Also moving deeper into the context of the data behind the stories, “I’ve loved learning how sound can give a human voice to the data, and the data can give a breadth of context and support to the stories we’ve been working on.”

will craft

APM Reports is one of the younger members of the American Family Media Group family. Born in 2015, Editor-In-Chief Chris Worthington describes the purpose of its formation:

“The leaders at American Public Media decided to invest in investigative journalism and combine it with our documentary reporting for a number of reasons. Most important, immersive, fact-driven journalism is a critical public service. When Americans are more fully informed and insist on meaningful change, our democracy can work more reliably…But no matter the focus, at the heart of every important story we pursue will be a critical larger question – about systems or accountability within institutions – that Americans deserve to have answered with depth and commitment.”

Dave Peters, Senior Editor of APM Reports and Craft’s supervisor, says “he’s gone toe-to-toe with the FBI and Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension over rural crime rates and delved into the surprisingly little known set of data about child kidnappings.” Peters adds, “Will has become our reporters’ go-to guy anytime we need to make sense of piles of information.”

Along with contributing to In the Dark, Craft worked hard on the investigation of Mesabi Academy. His findings were released to the public and can be viewed here.

6083705881231360Peters explains:

“For the reporting on Mesabi Academy in northern Minnesota, he built an interactive look-up table for maltreatment allegations at Minnesota’s juvenile justice institutions, making that data easily accessible to the public for the first time.”

Will has certainly found his calling here at APMG. He is a valuable addition to the APM Reports team.

“There have been so many great experiences in the past year, but the best experience is getting to sit back and absorb the knowledge of everyone I work with. Every so often, when I am in a meeting or listening to people work around me, I just think, ‘Wow, this is my job. I get paid to do this,’ which is pretty amazing.” We would say he is well on his way to becoming a phenomenal investigative reporter!