92. Scott Rodd
In just over two years covering politics at the Capitol, Scott Rodd’s work has shown that he and his employers at Sacramento’s Capital Public Radio won’t settle for pedestrian daily coverage. Rodd’s investigation into California’s failed wildfire prevention efforts led to a $500 million increase in this year’s state budget— not bad for a day’s work as a journalist. Rodd found that the Newsom administration had grossly exaggerated claims about the state’s wildfire prevention efforts, leaving them far below what experts say is needed to prevent catastrophic fires (which Rodd continues to cover). After Rodd’s story appeared, a last-minute change to this year’s state budget followed, more than doubling the allocation for wildfire prevention efforts. Rodd is no one-trick pony: An earlier investigation revealed hundreds of millions in no-bid state contracts for pandemic response were awarded to large Newsom political donors. Rodd joined Capital Public Radio in May 2019 after working at The Sacramento Business Journal for two years. He previously worked as a freelance writer based in Los Angeles and Washington D.C.