Dec. 31, 2021
Best of the Week — First Winner
‘This is Joseph Moore’: FBI informant inside KKK reveals himself in riveting AP interview
AP investigative reporter Jason Dearen received a curious email on Dec. 1, claiming to be from Joseph Moore, a man Dearen had written about months earlier. Moore was an FBI undercover informant who had infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in Florida and disrupted a murder plot by three klansmen working as prison guards.
Dearen and AP visual journalist Robert Bumsted soon found themselves in Florida interviewing Moore about his years in the klan.
Moore said he’d identified dozens of law enforcement officers who were either sympathetic to the klan, or active members, telling AP, “It is more prevalent and consequential than any of them are willing to admit.” Dearen also came away with details to further challenge Florida officials’ claims that they have no indication of wider klan or other criminal gang activity among their prison guards.
The “must read” story, accompanied by Bumsted's video, lit up online and numerous film producers inquired about film rights.
For chasing the story so long and covering it so well that it brought an underground FBI informant out of the shadows, Dearen and Bumsted earn AP’s Best of the Week — First Winner honors.