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Sharon Pieczenik

Sharon Pieczenik

Senior Associate Producer


  Sharon Pieczenik is a senior associate producer for The Center for Investigative Reporting. Her passion lies in creating multimedia stories that are both entertaining and educational. She has interviewed and filmed people from a myriad of cultures, from the gauchos of Argentina to the inmates of Montana state prisons, from miners in Wyoming to conservationists in Madagascar. Before joining CIR, Sharon crafted multimedia strategies and deliverables for organizations like Polar Bears International, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Natural History Unit Africa and Montana PBS. Sharon studied international relations at Stanford University and received her master’s degree in science and natural history filmmaking from Montana State University.


Criminal Justice

Video: Sterilized Behind Bars

  Elective sterilizations have been restricted in state prisons since 1994. But between 2006 and 2010, more than 100 women were sterilized at state prisons. While some women opted for the surgery, other have claimed they were pressured. Corey G. Johnson from The Center for Investigative Reporting and Ana Kasparian from The Young Turks speak

Nov 6, 2013

Video: The Air Force’s radioactive legacy

The former McClellan Air Force Base has been closed for years, but the U.S. Air Force is building an arena-sized radioactive waste dump on the property that it wants to transfer to the city of Sacramento, Calif.   CREDITS: Reporters: Katharine Mieszkowski and Matt Smith Producer, Camera, Editor and Narrator: Sharon Pieczenik Senior Editor: Andrew

Sep 17, 2013
Criminal Justice

Video: Busted in Texas

As Congress looks to significantly boost funding for the U.S. Border Patrol as part of a new immigration bill, we investigate the impact of the police buildup at a West Texas checkpoint. The Sierra Blanca checkpoint along Interstate 10 was set up to catch major traffickers and immigrants who entered the country illegally. But the

Jul 2, 2013

Who Took Down Stockton?

Since 2010, 33 municipalities across the country have filed for bankruptcy. Not since the Great Depression have so many cities been so broke. No other place in the U.S. has borne the brunt more than the Central Valley city of Stockton, Calif. – the largest city in American history to file for bankruptcy. Now, the

May 20, 2013

Controversial school bonds create ‘debt for the next generation’

Video: Sharon Pieczenik   Decade of Debt: Capital Appreciation Bonds        Uncover how much high-interest debt school districts, community colleges and government agencies have issued. Each circle represents a public entity. The larger the circle, the greater the debt. The redder the circle, the higher the interest that entity will pay. The Napa Valley Unified

Jan 31, 2013

Video: Errors at the VA

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs denied Navy veteran Hosea Roundtree’s disability benefits claim for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, saying it could find no evidence that he was in combat. When a VA claims processor tried to intervene, she says she was forced out. Veterans’ advocates say Roundtree’s case illustrates the VA’s priorities: productivity

Nov 9, 2012

Calif. voters to consider changes to three strikes law

This November, a voter’s initiative on the California ballot, Proposition 36, seeks to reform the state’s three strikes law. The law allows life sentences for repeat offenders, regardless of the severity of their crimes. Advocates of the initiative say sentencing reform will save taxpayers millions, while opponents argue that the law keeps communities safe. See

Nov 1, 2012

Video: Salt in the Fields

California’s water wars have shaped the course of the state’s economy and demography for more than a century. For farmers on the west side of the Central Valley, long dependent on federal and state water projects, climate change is introducing another factor into the water equation: salt.   TRANSCRIPT: Reporter Mark Schapiro: Near Westley, California, the

Sep 27, 2012

Video: A Dwindling Harvest

For a few weeks each spring, the cherry orchards of California’s San Joaquin Valley burst into a sea of pink blossoms. It’s a beautiful sight and a sign that the harvest will be good. But in recent years, farmers have noticed a change in this pattern, and it signals drastic changes ahead for the state’s

Sep 27, 2012