Bridge adds hall of famer to reporting team

Bill McGraw, a veteran Detroit Free Press writer inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame last April, has joined Bridge’s growing Michigan reporting team.

Among other duties, McGraw will anchor Bridge’s ongoing coverage of Detroit’s emergence from bankruptcy as part of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative, funded by the James L. Knight Foundation, Renaissance Journalism’s Michigan Reporting Initiative and the Ford Foundation.

A native Detroiter, McGraw co-founded the online website Deadline Detroit in 2012. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Toronto Globe and Mail, National Geographic, Newsweek, the London-based History Workshop Journal, the Fifth Estate and Orbit.

McGraw spent 37 years as a freelance contributor, city-desk reporter, sportswriter, Canada correspondent, deputy metro editor and columnist at the Free Press. He created two best-selling books on Detroit subjects, “The Quotations of Mayor Coleman A. Young” and “The Detroit Almanac,” which he co-edited with Peter Gavrilovich. In 2007, McGraw drove all of the city’s 2,100 streets for the award-winning “Driving Detroit” series.

"I'm honored and excited to join Bridge,” McGraw said. “I love the way it has carved out a distinctive and important place for itself in Michigan's media landscape by doing stories no one else is doing and doing them well."

McGraw joins an honored team of Bridge journalists. Just over a year ago, Bridge added reporter Mike Wilkinson, a computer-assisted reporting specialist from The Detroit News; reporter Chastity Pratt Dawsey, who covered Detroit Public Schools for more than decade at the Free Press, and editor David Zeman, former projects editor at the Free Press where his team won numerous national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.

They joined veteran Bridge writers Ron French, whose work has resulted in several changes in state education policy and Nancy Derringer, who has written on subjects as diverse as gentrification in downtown Detroit and the rise of Michigan’s tea party, along with more than a dozen freelance writers from across the state.

“Bill McGraw brings extraordinary experience, curiosity, reporting skills and integrity to Bridge, we are thrilled to have him,” Zeman said.

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