COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW -- At San Francisco State University, Gartrell took an introductory reporting course with Thomas Peele, a longtime investigative journalist. On the first day, Peele warned his students that two factual errors would get them an automatic F on an assignment.
“I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is f--king great,’” Gartrell said.
A handful of students dropped out. Gartrell got an A-minus, one of the top grades.
The following year, Peele offered Gartrell a paid gig to help him research a book about Chauncey Bailey, a newspaper editor from Oakland who had been assassinated by members of a criminal ring he’d been investigating.