Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Susanne Craig is back in her hometown this weekend for a sold-out Alumni Weekend speaker series event at the University of Calgary.
The event will see Craig talking about reporting on U.S. President Donald Trump, what she learned throughout her investigation into Trump’s finances and media in politics.
Craig was a political science student when she began her journalism career at The Gauntlet, a student-run newspaper at the University of Calgary.
In 1990, Craig spent the summer as an intern for the Calgary Herald, before securing her first full-time job as a reporter for the Windsor Star in Ontario.
She was hired by the New York Times in 2010 following stints at the Globe and Mail and Wall Street Journal.
Six years later, as an investigative journalist with the New York Times, Craig began to cover Donald Trump in a packed field of candidates hoping to be the Republican U.S. presidential nominee.
Just three weeks before the election, Craig was mailed three pages of Trump’s 1995 tax returns.
“We had been looking for his tax returns and it had become the Rosetta Stone of the campaign,” Craig told Global News Morning on Saturday. “We were able to confirm them, and they showed he had a billion dollars in losses; it was a horrible year for him.”
Over the next 18 months, alongside colleagues David Barstow and Russ Buettner, Craig dug through thousands of pages of documents uncovering new details about the financial reality and origins of Trump’s wealth.
The trio were awarded a Pulitzer Prize for their investigation.
Their work “debunked his claims of self-made wealth and revealed a business empire riddled with tax dodges,” the Pulitzer Prize board said in a statement.
“It was such an incredible honour, and came at the end of a very long investigation,” Craig said.
Watch below: Some videos from Global News’ coverage of Donald Trump and his tax forms.
According to Craig, their work is far from over as there is still one year left in Trump’s first term as president in the White House, and over 10 years of tax return documents still to comb through.
She admits that Trump’s presidency and his use of the term “fake news” have made the public more critical of the news they consume, adding more pressure to get the facts right.
Critical views towards the media have created a tense work environment, Craig suggested. The New York Times’ offices have barricades outside the front doors, and reporters go through active shooter training.
“The president has made it really clear; he calls the media the enemy of the people, he calls out individual reporters,” Craig said. “It’s that sort of hate-speech that has created an environment that is difficult and upsetting sometimes to work in.”
Watch below: (From Oct. 31, 2018) During a rally in Florida on Wednesday night, U.S. President Donald Trump continued to attack the media saying they continue to “stoke resentment.”