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.

County Cautions Public About High Lead Around Tampa Factory
Government monitoring devices around Gopher Resource measured lead levels well above federal air-quality standards.
February 20, 2022
Tampa Lead Factory Faces $518,000 Fine for Environmental Violations
The proposed penalty would be the largest in the history of the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission.
January 22, 2022
A Tampa Lead Factory Hurt Workers. Here’s How to Avoid a Repeat.
Experts say the solutions could include adding new reporting requirements and increasing the frequency of inspections.
December 24, 2021
Regulators to Step Up Monitoring of Tampa Lead Factory
A county in Florida plans to increase testing around Gopher Resource’s lead factory and use a new, randomized schedule following a Tampa Bay Times report.
December 11, 2021
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