Daniel Walters, an investigative reporter who’s made a career out of exposing con artists, conspiracy theorists, vigilantes, preppers, racists and bad-behaving public officials, is joining InvestigateWest to cover democracy and extremism across the Pacific Northwest.
Walters has spent the past 15 years at The Inlander, a weekly paper covering Eastern Washington and North Idaho known for its narrative and accountability reporting. His 2020 coverage of rising vigilantism won the Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s first-place national prize for right-wing extremism reporting, while his account of an Afghan’s unsuccessful attempt to escape his country after it fell to the Taliban won first place for immigration reporting. As a veteran investigative reporter, Walters has exposed many of the Northwest’s leading far-right figures and produced groundbreaking reporting on patriot and White nationalist groups. He’s also analyzed voting trends, redistricting maps and other factors impacting America’s elections.
His byline has appeared in news outlets across the country, including The New York Times, and in 2020, The Washington Post profiled Walters after a conspiracy-spreading state lawmaker threatened him during a profanity-laced tirade.
Walters is joining our Seattle-based nonprofit news organization through a partnership with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues and communities. Report for America will cover a portion of Walters’ salary for up to three years and helps organizations like InvestigateWest fundraise in their local communities to preserve essential news reporting. (Please consider donating today to support InvestigateWest’s in-depth democracy and extremism reporting.)
“Daniel Walters is one of the hardest-working reporters I’ve ever encountered,” said Jacob Fries, executive director of InvestigateWest. “He gets people to talk, he digs deep, he asks hard questions, and he relentlessly pursues the truth — wherever it may be hidden. He has an incredible track record of producing revelatory investigations, and we’re thrilled he’s on our team.”
Walters will begin reporting for InvestigateWest later this summer.
InvestigateWest was founded in 2009 by Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporters and editors after the paper stopped publishing. It was part of a pioneering group of news organizations created at that time to preserve public-service journalism through a nonprofit model relying on reader support and donations rather than advertising. Over the years, InvestigateWest’s reporting has prompted reforms and more than a half dozen different state laws protecting the environment, workers and foster children.