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Political ‘revolving door’ swings both ways

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Editor’s note: This is a preview of an article that appears in the November issue of Gateway Journalism Review.

Journalists often use the metaphor of the “revolving door” in stories about a government official going to work for companies they once regulated. But in one recent example in St. Louis, it is the journalist who is walking through the door instead.

Former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Jake Wagman traded in his press credentials in June for a chance to do opposition research for the political clientele of his new firm, Shield Political Research.

During his time as a reporter, Wagman often mined political nuggets. Wagman’s website www.shieldresearch.com states that “some of Jake’s many investigative projects included uncovering dead voters who had ‘signed’ a recall petition; shining a light on lawmakers who were showered with pricey sports tickets by corporate lobbyists; exposing an alderman seeking tax-exempt status on his campaign headquarters; and discovering that a state legislator had used campaign funds to buy clothes and shoes at the mall.”

Wagman graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in journalism, and he was the editor of the student newspaper during his time there. In 2011, he was honored by the Missouri Press Association for best coverage of government, and he had been named by the Riverfront Times as the top reporter in St. Louis.

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