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Reviewed by Joe Wisinski for Readers' Favorite
Confessions of an Investigative Reporter by Matthew Schwartz is the memoir of a well-known TV newscaster. Schwartz worked in both large markets and small, generally broadcasting stories that exposed, as he puts it, “bad actors or practices.” The 41 well-written chapters mostly recall specific stories Schwartz covered, but there are also chapters about memorable people he met, his view of modern-day TV newscasts, and some of the dangers investigative reporters face. Schwartz interviewed everyone from nationally known and notorious people to everyday Americans. Many people he talked to during his career were those who suffered unimaginable tragedies. He blew the whistle on phony business schemes, corrupt politicians, fraudulent charities, and many others. In numerous cases, his work enabled justice to be served and/or innocent victims to recover money that dishonest people stole from them.
This book is a fascinating read. As soon as I finished one chapter I eagerly looked forward to the next one. At times it’s uplifting, such as when Schwartz tells about an elderly woman who gave a large sum of money to a young man she’d never met to help him fulfill his dream of being a United States Marine. At other times it’s tragic, such as the stories of those sent to prison for crimes they may not have committed. But it’s always interesting, and best of all, Confessions of an Investigative Reporter shows that good reporting does make a difference. Anyone who wants a behind-the-scenes look into television news while simultaneously being entertained should read Schwartz’s memoir.