Michael Biesecker, an award-winning reporter and investigative journalist for The News & Observer of Raleigh, has been hired by The Associated Press to cover federal courts, investigations and politics in North Carolina.
Biesecker is a North Carolina native and has spent his 15-year-career in his home state. He worked at the Winston-Salem Journal in a variety of positions including as a columnist and reporter before going to work for The News & Observer in 2003. He has covered the state capital for the newspaper since 2009.
His work probing the failings of North Carolina's mental health care system in 2008 uncovered more than 80 questionable deaths in state mental hospitals. The newspaper's series "Mental Disorder: The Failure of Reform" led to new policies on how state facilities report deaths and monitor care. He has won numerous awards from the North Carolina Press Association, including for general news and for investigative reporting. In 2008, he was part of a team that won an Associated Press Managing Editors Association First Amendment Award for reporting on access to email written by public officials.
The appointment was announced Monday by South Editor Lisa Marie Pane, Chief of Bureau Michelle Williams and Carolinas News Editor Evan Berland.
"Biesecker has some serious reporting chops and we're looking forward to his using those to cover the vitally important federal courts beat and being involved in some important investigative projects," Pane said.
"Michael brings the right mix of investigative reporting skills and deep North Carolina knowledge to our staff," Williams said. "He will be a great addition to our already aggressive news reporting team."
Biesecker, 38, is a graduate of North Carolina State University and has a master's degree from Wake Forest University.