Jay Root is an award-winning journalist and author of “Oops! A Diary from the 2012 Campaign Trail,” an insider’s account of Rick Perry’s gaffe-filled run for president. Root has been hooked on the news business ever since he stumbled into a newsroom full of fellow misfits at his college paper, The Daily Texan. In 1996 Root became Austin bureau chief of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where he worked alongside columnist Molly Ivins and covered the rise of then-Gov. George W. Bush. During a three-year stint at the Associated Press, Root was twice named AP Staff Reporter of the Year and was on the team that won a national First Place Scripps Howard Foundation award for AP’s coverage of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting. Since 2011, Root has been a senior political and investigative reporter at the Texas Tribune. In 2014, Root broke the story that put the Texas attorney general on the path toward criminal indictment, and his 2015 series exposing questionable financial ties between state prosecutors and a private insurance company sparked major reforms and landed him a 2016 state journalism award. Most recently Root conceived and oversaw the Tribune’s Bordering on Insecurity project, a yearlong series of stories and multimedia focused on the hot-button issues of border security and immigration. During the course of the project a team of reporters traveled to some of the most violent neighborhoods in El Salvador, rode with the U.S. Border Patrol in the most heavily-crossed patch of the U.S. Mexico border, visited drug treatment facilities in Texas, and interviewed dozens of immigrants in the United States and Latin America. The experience inspired Root to direct and co-produce, along with Tribune multimedia producer Todd Wiseman, a half-hour documentary. Beyond The Wall is Root’s first foray into documentary filmmaking.
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