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Marshfield native awarded Pulitzer Prize


Marshfield High School graduate and Mail alum Chad Day, son of Noel Day and Rhonda Day, was announced as a recipient of a 2023 Pulitzer Prize Monday, May 8. The Staff of the Wall Street Journal was named the winner of the Prize in Investigative Reporting for sharp accountability reporting on financial conflicts of interest among officials at 50 federal agencies, revealing those who bought and sold stocks they regulated and other ethical violations by individuals charged with safeguarding the public’s interest.

“I was at home with my wife when I found out,” he recalled. “We were just stunned. I couldn’t believe it… I am still in a daze about it. It hasn’t really sunk in. I was fortunate to work on a really great, generous team full of very talented people.”

Day explained that the team looked comprehensively across the federal government to explain how the government functions, where senior government officials' financial interests and personal financial interests intersect with their official duties. According to Day, one of the main findings was that about one in five senior officials owned stock in companies that were actively lobbying their agencies at the same time. The Journal collected documents, analyzed their findings and published their findings.

“There were about six of us on the team and a broad group of people who were involved,” Day said. “Journalism is a team sport… anybody that tries to do it by themselves, there’s always other people around them, helping them. It was a lot of work, but you never expect anything like this. It was just kind of crazy.”

Day, a 2006 Marshfield High School graduate, worked at the Marshfield Mail the summer after his senior year. He credits his boss at the Mail for pushing him into this career path.

“Mark [Eddlemon] is a close friend of mine. He was my baseball coach and also the reason I first got into journalism,” Day recalled. “I actually got mono during baseball season my senior year and Mark asked if I was interested in covering the games. So I started with the Marshfield Mail toward the end of my senior year and worked through the summer covering legion baseball, sports and all kinds of stuff.”

That fall, Day attended Journalism School at the University of Missouri and graduated in 2009. As he looks back, he says that this was the path he was meant to take. When asked if he had ever considered another career besides journalism, he said, “There are rough days in every profession, but I’ve been very lucky to not have to answer that question yet. I really love what I get to do and once I started doing it, it’s what I wanted to do every day. I think everybody has something like that… Something they feel meant to do.”

Day looks back at the path that led him there feeling thankful for the people who were kind enough to take the time to teach and help me over the years. After he finished journalism school, Day was an intern at the Kansas City Star for a summer before moving to Little Rock, AR for a job with the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. He remained there from 2009 -2015 when he accepted a job at the Associated Press in Washington D.C.. He then worked at the Wall Street Journal from 2019 until two months ago, when he returned to the Associated Press for his current role as the Chief Elections Analyst.

“Mark was instrumental in my journalism career. I always kept up with the news and was a big reader as a kid. My grandfather [James “Shorty” Day] would love to talk about news and what was going on with us kids,” he added. “My grandmother, Billie [Arthur], wrote a lot of obituaries over the years when my grandparents had the funeral home in Marshfield, so I got used to how she interviewed people for those and got interested in writing, but it was Mark who kind of pushed me into it. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”


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