Sara Ganim | Columbia Journalism School

Sara Ganim

James Madison Visiting Professor on First Amendment Issues

Sara Ganim is a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and former CNN investigative correspondent who regularly publishes in print and broadcast. A multi-platform reporter, Ganim has written for newspapers, wire services, cable television, radio, podcasts and documentaries and has won several of the industry’s top awards. 

At age 24, she won a Pulitzer Prize for the Harrisburg Patriot-News for breaking and covering the investigation into former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of young boys.

Ganim then spent seven years at CNN, covering multiple beats, including federal government agencies, the rise of the anti-fascist movement in the U.S., the NCAA, and contaminated American drinking water. 

In 2015, she won a Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists for her investigative report exposing the low reading levels of some college athletes.

In 2021, she launched a podcast with Advance Local and Meadowlark Media called The Mayor of Maple Avenue, about the intersection of trauma and addiction and societal failures in the wake of the #meToo movement. The podcast had more than 1.2 million downloads. She is also the host of the award winning podcast Why Don’t We Know, which explores government secrecy.

In 2020, she made her first independent film, No Defense, which garnered film festival recognition. She has consulted or reported for several other films, including the Emmy-nominated films, Deadly Haze and Paterno.

Ganim is a prior recipient of Hearst, Loyola Law school and Columbia Spencer Education fellowships. Other recognitions include the the 2020 Education Writers Association public service award, 2012 National Sexual Violence Resource Center Visionary Voice Award, 2012 APME President’s Award, 2011 George Polk award, the 2011 Scripps-Howard award, 2012 American Society of News Editors for distinguished writing, 2011 Sidney Hillman’s Sidney Award, a 2010 Golden Quill and the 2010 Bar Association journalism award, 2008 Gannet Media Foundation multimedia award.

She is currently the journalist-in-residence at the University of Florida’s Brechner Center for Freedom of Information and the James Madison visiting professor for First Amendment Issues at Columbia University.  

She is a 2008 graduate of Penn State University.