Contributor profile

Wendy Ruderman

Investigative Reporter The Philadelphia Inquirer

I tutor: Case studies


Wendy Ruderman, 50, has been a reporter since 1991. She was raised in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and graduated from Western Maryland College, now McDaniel College, with a BA in communications in 1991. After college, she became editor of the Williamstown Plain Dealer, a weekly local newspaper in South Jersey. She earned a master's from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1997. She then worked as a statehouse reporter, based in Trenton, for the Trenton Times, Associated Press and the Bergen Record. She joined the Philadelphia Inquirer as a staff writer in December 2002, before joining the Philadelphia Daily News in 2007. She and her Daily News colleague Barbara Laker won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for a series about a rouge narcotics police squad. Together, Ruderman and Laker wrote a book, published by HarperCollins 2014, based on their award-winning series and entitled "BUSTED: A Tale of Corruption and Betrayal in the City of Brotherly Love." The book has been optioned for a television series. Ruderman left the Daily News in May 2012 to become police bureau chief for the New York Times. Amid a family crisis, she returned to Philadelphia in June 2013 and she is currently a member of the Inquirer's Investigations Team. Ruderman was a 2016 National Fellow at University of Southern California's Center for Health Journalism. In 2018, the Ethics Program of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Villanova University awarded Ruderman and Laker the prestigious Praxis Award in Professional Ethics. She currently serves on Villanova's Ethics Advisory Council. Ruderman's investigative work has received numerous national journalism awards, including the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award, the Scripps Howard Foundation's Ursula and Gilbert Farfel Prize for investigative reporting, the Clark Mollenhoff Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting for the Institute on Political Journalism, the National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence Award, the Association for Women in Communication's Clarion Award, and the American Society of News Editors (ASNE). Ruderman, Laker and Inquirer colleague Dylan Purcell were 2018 finalists for Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award for their series, "Toxic City: Sick Schools." The series, which reveals how children are exposed to environmental health hazards in Philadelphia public schools, also was a 2019 finalist for the Goldsmith Investigative Reporting Prize at Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, a finalist for the 2019 Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting at USC Annenberg School of Journalism, and a second-place winner of the Philip Meyer Journalism Award.

Content by Wendy

Case studies
Award-worthy data journalism

With tips from past awardees, circuit observers, and competition insiders, this edition of Conversations with Data answers the crucial question: ‘What makes data journalism award-worthy?’