Steve Fainaru has joined ESPN’s distinguished enterprise and investigative reporting team as Senior Writer, ESPN Digital and Print Media. His work will be seen across all ESPN platforms, including ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Radio, and TV. His hiring marks the second Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to join ESPN in the past three months, following Don Van Natta’s hiring in December 2011.
“The quality and depth of Steve Fainaru’s work will be a welcome addition to ESPN’s investigative reporting team,” said Rob King, Senior Vice President, Editorial, ESPN Digital and Print Media. “His background in both print and online journalism strengthens the commitment we are making to cross-platform reporting.”
Fainaru in 2010 helped launch The Bay Citizen, an award-winning online news organization based in San Francisco. Fainaru, who will remain based in California, served as the publication’s managing editor for news and editor-in-chief.
He previously worked 10 years as a staff writer for The Washington Post. There, Fainaru served as an investigative reporter in sports, covered the war on terrorism in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and spent five years on the newspaper’s foreign staff, primarily covering the Iraq War. His series on private security contractors in Iraq won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting and the Overseas Press Club’s Hal Boyle Award for best newspaper or wire-service reporting from abroad. Fainaru was also a Pulitzer finalist in 2006 for his articles on the deadly violence faced by U.S. troops as the insurgency in Iraq intensified.
Earlier, Fainaru worked 11 years at The Boston Globe, covering the Boston Red Sox and Wall Street and serving three years as the newspaper’s Latin America Bureau Chief. His sports coverage for the Globe and the Post earned four first-place finishes in the Associated Press Sports Editors competition.
Fainaru graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and received a master’s degree from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. He is the author of Big Boy Rules: America’s Mercenaries in Iraq, which was published in the fall of 2008, and is the co-author of The Duke of Havana: Baseball, Cuba and the Search for the American Dream, which chronicled the odyssey of pitcher Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez and his defection from post-Cold War Cuba.
Over the past several years, ESPN’s enterprise and investigative reporting team has won multiple awards for its excellence in online journalism. It has been honored by a number of respected organizations, including the Sports Emmys, ONA’s Online Journalism Awards, Editor & Publisher’s EPpy Awards, GLAAD Media Awards, National Headliner Awards and others. ESPN.com has also won numerous awards for overall excellence, including the Webby Awards, CableFAX’s Best of the Web Awards, OMMA Awards and more.