about me



I’m Isaiah Thompson, a journalist by trade and temperament for the past dozen or so years. I live in the Greater Boston area, having come by way of Philadelphia, Miami, Washington D.C., Madison, and of course my home town: the great City of Chicago, where I was born, raised and proud to be educated in the Chicago Public Schools.  

I have worked and continue to work in print, radio, and digital media; my journalism has ranged from investigative to data-driven to hyper-local to public interest to … well, fun, I hope.

My reporting has appeared in/on Pro Publica, This American Life, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, Vice, Esquire, WHYY, WGBH, the Philadelphia City Paper, Miami New Times, and Living Blues Magazine,  among other fine outlets. I’ve had the pleasure of covering such disparate and fascinating topics as civil forfeiture abuse, the ordering of sex offenders to live beneath a bridge, police-involved shootings, the lives of metal scrappers, and so much more.   

I’ve been honored to win several awards for my work, including:

The Larry Weiss Award for Investigative Journalism and Finalist, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and ACLU-Pennsylvania Civil Libertarian Award for “The Cash Machine,” an investigation of civil forfeiture practices in Philadelphia. The reporting was directly cited in a groundbreaking class-action lawsuit against the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. 

The Investigative Reporters and Editors 1st Place award for my series about sex offenders sent by the state to live under a bridge when a new, restrictive ordinance made living almost anywhere else impossible. 

Grantee, the Fund for Investigative Journalism to investigative civil forfeiture.

The Society of Professional Journalists award for: Political Reporting (1st Place, 2008) for “The Fishtown Effect,” about openly racist whites voting for Obama; the SPJ’s award for Public Service Journalism (1st Place, 2010)

Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Keystone Awards: Investigative Reporting, 1st Place for my 2009 investigation into the funding behind a new soccer stadium outside of Philadelphia; News Feature, 1st Place for a 2010 expose of internal memos warning about the leasing of public forest land for drilling; and Column, 1st Place for my slightly-ridiculous but always fun column, “Man Overboard!”


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