Heaney joins Capitol Pressroom lineup

Investigative Post Editor Jim Heaney has joined the list of regular contributors to The Capitol Pressroom, heard daily on 20 public radio stations across Upstate New York.

Heaney will field questions every other Thursday from Capitol Pressroom host Susan Arbetter. The program attracts about 100,000 listeners daily on outlets that include WBFO, 88.7 FM in Buffalo.

“We are thrilled to have a journalist of Jim’s caliber appear regularly on the show. His commitment to investigative journalism will help further engage our savvy audience,” Arbetter said.

Added Heaney: “The Capitol Pressroom attracts a large and influential audience that we’re eager to reach.”

The Capitol Pressroom is an hourlong program that broadcasts Monday through Friday from the Legislative Correspondents Association Pressroom in the State Capitol in Albany. Arbetter interviews newsmakers, journalists and government officials.

Arbetter’s interviews with Heaney will generally last about 14 minutes and be posted to Investigative Post’s website early in the afternoon of the day it broadcasts.

Their interview Thursday covered the financial difficulties of SolarCity, which will be the beneficiary of a $750 million plant in Buffalo being built and equipped at taxpayer expense. A previous interview broadcast Aug. 31 regarding the Cuomo administration’s lack of transparency involving the Buffalo Billion.

“The initial interview went well and Susan and I decided it would be a good idea to partner,” Heaney said.

Capitol Pressroom streams live from 11 a.m. to noon daily at wcny.org/capitolpressroom and is broadcast on NPR and & non-commercial public radio stations across upstate. In addition to WBFO, which airs the program daily at 8 p.m., The Capitol Pressroom broadcasts in all the other major upstate markets, including Rochester (WXXI), Syracuse (WRVO), Albany (WVCR) and Binghamton (WSQX).  The program has an especially strong following in the Albany area.

Arbetter, in addition to hosting Capitol Pressroom, is director of news & public affairs for WCNY, the public broadcasting outlet for the Syracuse area. Her interviews on Capitol Pressroom have been cited by news outlets that include The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, as well as newspapers across the state. She has received more than 30 journalism honors, including an Emmy Award and Edward R. Murrow Award.

Investigative Post was founded by Heaney in 2012 after a 31-year career at The Buffalo News and The Orlando Sentinel. He is one of a handful of reporters whose work has been honored in journalism competitions for excellence in both newspaper and television coverage. He was a finalist in 1993 for the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting while with The News.

Investigative Post is a nonprofit investigative reporting center based in Buffalo. It partners with a number of news outlets, including WGRZ, the NBC affiliate for Buffalo. Its board of directors includes two Pulitzer Prize winners, including president David Cay Johnston, formerly of The New York Times, and Tom Toles, of The Washington Post.

Investigative Post is the only nonprofit investigative reporting center based in Upstate New York and Heaney said his involvement with The Capitol Pressroom advances his organization’s objective of establishing a statewide presence. The partnership with public radio stations follows the publication in June of an Investigative Post report on shenanigans involving the Buffalo Billion that ran in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Albany Times Union, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin and Poughkeepsie Journal.

“There is a crying need for investigative reporting across New York State, which is gaining a reputation as the corruption capital of the nation,” Heaney said. “Investigative Post, working with news organizations across the state, is working to promote transparency and good government.”