Investigative journalist and storyteller Robbie Ward left covers politics, government and public policy, focusing on stories that make a difference. Based on his reporting, the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division forced a Mississippi rural water association to compensate workers for time worked but not paid. Ward’s work also led the Mississippi Ethics Commission to define text messages of public officials as public records and convinced one local government to approve policies to archive and maintain public officials’ email and text messages. A year after Johnny Cash died, Ward wrote about the Man in Black’s shoes staying in a small Mississippi town more than 40 years after the singer left them in a drunk tank. He wrote another chapter in the story by creating and producing the Johnny Cash Flower Pickin’ Festival from 2007-2009. Ward’s journalism has received recognition through multiple awards for investigative, enterprise and feature reporting. His work ranked in the top five among participants of the 2014 McGraw Hill Financial Data Journalism Program at the International Center for Journalists. He has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and journalism from the University of Southern Mississippi and a master’s degree in public policy and administration from Mississippi State University. A Mississippi native, Ward lives in Beaufort, S.C.