Eli Murray

Data reporter, Tampa Bay Times

Eli Murray is a data reporter at the Tampa Bay Times, one of FRONTLINE's inaugural Local Journalism Initiative partners. He's a self-taught programmer who uses code to create graphics and crunch numbers on statewide and national investigations.

In 2018, Eli had the opportunity to work on a collaboration between the Times and a local news station, 10News WTSP. The resulting investigation shed light on questionable spending by political campaigns years or even decades after the candidate left office. The story triggered the Federal Election Commission to begin reviewing dormant campaign accounts and the team that worked on the project was awarded an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia award in 2019.

He also worked alongside Times reporter Tracey McManus on an investigation into clandestine real estate purchases by the Church of Scientology in 2019. Their story received a 2020 Gerald Loeb Award for Visual Storytelling.

Eli grew up in rural Illinois and received an associate degree from Sauk Valley Community College before pursuing a bachelor's in journalism at the University of Illinois. He joined the Times straight out of college in 2015.

POISONED: Part 3: The Fallout
Gopher Resource promised changes at Tampa’s old lead factory. It kept polluting. Records show the company pumped lead into the air and mishandled hazardous waste.
December 2, 2021
OSHA Fines Tampa Lead Factory $319,000
The lead smelter was the subject of a recent Tampa Bay Times investigation.
September 30, 2021
Public Health Officials Urge Lower Lead Limits
The American Public Health Association is pushing for sweeping changes to the federal rules designed to keep lead workers safe after a Tampa Bay Times investigation into a Florida lead smelter.
September 29, 2021
Cadmium Spiked Inside a Tampa Lead Factory. Workers Didn’t Get Help.
For years, the company’s contracted doctor failed to flag abnormal test results and provide the required follow-up.
September 23, 2021
Federal Lawmakers Call for Penalties for Tampa Lead Factory
Regulators, prompted by a Tampa Bay Times investigation, found Gopher Resource ran afoul of environmental standards.
July 10, 2021
Tampa Lead Factory Ran Afoul of Environmental Standards, Report Finds
The inquiry was spurred by a Tampa Bay Times investigation into hazardous conditions at the plant.
July 1, 2021
Tampa Lead Factory Gets Credit Downgrade
An ongoing federal probe, prompted by a Tampa Bay Times investigation, was a key factor in the decision, the credit-rating agency said.
June 29, 2021
Former Worker Sues Tampa Lead Smelter Over Son’s Exposure
The worker alleges dusty conditions at Gopher Resource, Florida’s only lead factory, resulted in his son’s lead exposure.
June 2, 2021
Tampa Lead Factory Incurs More Problems
Regulators have spent nearly two months at a Tampa lead smelter in the wake of a Tampa Bay Times investigation that found hundreds of workers were exposed to high amounts of lead and other chemicals.
May 28, 2021
County will provide testing for neighbors of Florida’s lead smelter
The move was prompted by a Tampa Bay Times investigation that found hundreds of workers at the smelter were exposed to high amounts of toxic chemicals.
April 22, 2021
POISONED: Part 2: The Failings
Equipment designed to control poisons inside Gopher Resource kept breaking down, creating more dangers for workers. As violations mounted, regulators have been absent.
March 29, 2021
POISONED: Part 1: The Factory
Hundreds of workers at a Tampa lead smelter have been exposed to dangerous levels of the neurotoxin. The consequences have been profound.
March 24, 2021