MC NELLY TORRES
Multi-media, award-winning bilingual investigative journalist who has successfully uncovered corruption among public officials and business people, and expose wrongdoing to inform the public about issues and problems. Proven ability to be persistent, detail-oriented and intuitive in reviewing records and analyzing data to unveil crucial information; expert ability to use analytical skills and curious nature while interviewing subjects to gain facts for reporting; strong verbal and written communication skills with an aptitude for discovering unknown facts.
Fostered the development and implementation of a new state law (Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act of 2008) and subsequent lawsuit filed by Florida attorney general, against a foreclosure rescue firm.
Built the first public records searchable database for the Sun Sentinel to post online.
Wrote stories focusing on an unscrupulous contractor, which led to his arrest and a 10-year conviction.
Created the first campaign contributions database at the San Antonio Express-News to show relationships between the school bond elections and the construction industry in San Antonio, Texas.
Trained and mentored journalists around the country and organized the first workshop for Ethnic Media in South Florida, which was held during the Investigative Reporters and Editors annual convention in 2008.
Discovered loopholes in the environmental laws used by farmers when filing permits to open hog farms in South Carolina. Stories prompted changes in state laws to protect the environment and a lawsuit filed by South Carolina environmentalists and local residents to stop a farmer from opening a swine facility.
Completed a series of articles showing the sheriff department’s inability to solve homicides and the unmistakable similarities among several homicides in Comanche County, Okla. The Federal Bureau of Investigation began a probe into the deaths.
HONORS AND AWARDS
2015, Emmy Awards, education, “Online High School Diploma Worth Nothing.”
2014, Green Eyeshade Awards, public service in television, “Florida Police Shot 574 People: Were They all Justified?”
2014, Sunshine State Awards, investigative reporting for TV, Florida Police Shot 574 People: Were They all Justified?
2013, Regional Edward R. Murrow Award, investigative reporting series, “13th Grade.”
2013, Green Eyeshade Awards, non-deadline reporting, “Poverty, Homelessness Rising Sharply Among Florida Students.”
2013, Sunshine State Awards, investigative reporting for radio for, “13th Grade.”
2013, Education Writers Association, investigative reporting for, “13th Grade.”
2013, Florida Society of News Editors, investigative reporting for, “13th Grade.”
2012, Education Writers Association, investigative reporting for, “School of Hard Financial Knocks.”
2011, Education Writers Association, investigative reporting for, “Virtually Worthless.”
2011, Florida Society of News Editors, investigative reporting for, “Virtually Worthless.”
2011, Sunshine State Awards, multi-media package for, “Fiscal Duplicity.”
2011, Florida Society of News Editors, multi-media package for, “Fiscal Duplicity.”
2011, First Latina to be elected to serve on Florida Society of News Editors’ board of directors.
2011, Trained journalists on data analysis and investigative techniques in Puerto Rico and Venezuela. 2010, Won fellowship to attend Knight Digital Media Center News Entrepreneurs Boot Camp at USC in Los Angeles.
2010, Trained journalists during the Education Writers Association’s research and statistics boot camp in Phoenix.
2009, Green Eyeshade Awards, consumer reporting for, “Gas Prices in Florida.”
2008, Frequent speaker at conferences and workshops hosted by the Investigative Reporters and Editors and the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, including Better Watchdog and Ethnic Media Workshops.
2008, First Latina to be elected to serve on IRE’s board of directors.
2008, National Association of Hispanic Journalists Awards, investigative news for, “Is Your Nail Salon Safe?”
2008, Sunshine State Awards, consumer reporting for, “Is Your Nail Salon Safe?”
2008, Green Eyeshade Awards, multi-media consumer reporting for, “Getting what you pay for at the pump?”
2008 to present, Planner for IRE and National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR) conferences.
2007 to present, Mentor to young journalists attending IRE conferences.
2006, Sun Sentinel’s Top of the News for, “Regulation of Contractors a Blueprint for Problems.”
2005, Selected to attend the Western Knight Center seminar on investigating business at Berkeley, Calif. 2005, Selected to attend the first Education Research and Statistics Bootcamp at Harvard University.
2002, Hearst Newspaper recognition for team coverage, “Corruption Crackdown.”
2002, South Carolina Press Association, reporting in depth, “Hog Controversy.”
2002, Mega Awards best news story, “Many bridges rated deficient.”
2002, Selected to attend The Fourth Estate and The Third Sector Knight Journalism Fellows Program at Ole Miss.
2000, Won an Investigative Reporters and Editors Fellowship to attend the computer-assisted reporting boot camp at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla.
WTVJ-NBC 6, Miami, FL
Assigned to the consumer and investigative unit, an eight-member team, created in 2014.
Responsible to pitch, research and produce data-driven investigations, communicate story development
with senior staff. Cultivates and works with outside organizations and sources to develop story ideas.
Trains staff on investigative tools such as searching the Web, open records laws and data analysis.
Conducts surveillance and hidden-camera investigations.
Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, North Miami, FL
Associate Director and Reporter
Built the non-profit organization from ground up. Managed operations and wrote for the first bilingual digital nonprofit investigative journalism organization in the Sunshine State. Florida Center for Investigative Reporting’s mission is to work in the public best interest to expose corruption, waste and miscarriages of justice in state government.
Freelance Journalist, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Independent Investigative Journalist
Stimulus team leader for EdMoney.org, a project of the Education Writers Association, which goal is to track stimulus funding allocated to education at the nation’s schools. Trains reporters on data analysis and guides them on stimulus-education stories.
Wrote investigative and in-depth pieces about consumer issues for ConsumerAffairs.com.
South Florida Sun Sentinel, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Consumer Watchdog Reporter
Used computer-assisted reporting and investigative skills to build stories relating to businesses, scams and loopholes, causing changes to help consumers.
Worked with online videographers to produce multi-media packages, including video, google maps and searchable databases.
Formerly assigned to the Miami bureau to cover Miami-Dade County and its massive bureaucracy. Wrote about controversial political figures, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and contributed to major breaking news.
San Antonio Express-News, San Antonio, TX
Reported on politics, school construction, management, budgets, growth and public safety and the relationship between these issues and student performance.
Wrote about four politically contentious school districts, including the largest inner city school system, focusing stories on public funds waste, public officials’ corruption and how that affected classrooms and students.
Morning News, Florence, SC
Covered local governments and wrote enterprise stories about economic development and growth using census data showing how counties were changing in population and how that affected the public.
Wrote about the first education lottery launched in the state geared to fund education.
The Lawton Constitution, Lawton, OK
Wrote breaking news and enterprise stories on law enforcement agencies, the juvenile justice system, prisons, death penalty, courts and the law, informing readers about problems that affect their communities.
Focused stories on problems with Comanche County Jail where several attempted escapes and escapes prompted questions about the sheriff’s ability to manage the facility. State investigations originated after stories were published. The sheriff is no longer in charge of the jail.
Currently attending the Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice Program, Florida Atlantic University
Bachelor of Arts, Mass Communications with emphasis in Print Journalism, Political Science minor
University of Southern Colorado
Associate Degree in Liberal Arts
University of Hawaii
Proficient with Access, Excel, MySQL, Navicat, searching the Internet, interactive visualizations such as Public Tableau, Google Fusion maps and other computer-assisted reporting tools.
Written and verbal fluency in Spanish and English.
Trains journalists on data journalism and data analyzing tools.
Criminal Investigators Internship Program with the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, 4th District in Florida.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Citizens Academy
Investigative Reporters and Editors (board member from 2008-2014)
Florida Society of News Editors (board member from 2010-2013)
Education Writers Association
Society of Environmental Journalists
National Association of Hispanic Journalists
FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association