Paul D'Ambrosio is an American journalist and novelist. He is the Director of News and Investigations for the Asbury Park Press daily newspaper in New Jersey, and creator of DataUniverse.com, the public records site for six Gannett New Jersey newspapers.
D'Ambrosio was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Bangkok, Thailand. He graduated The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., with a B.A. in political science and history.
D'Ambrosio published two novels, Cold Rolled Dead and Easy Squeezy, and has written extensively about New Jersey's culture of political corruption, and the need for greater public access to government records.
"Fighting New Jersey's Tax Crush" (2009), which D'Ambrosio edited and co-wrote, was named a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
As both editor and writer, he has also won and shared in the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting, the Farfel Prize for Excellence in Investigative Reporting, the National Headliner awards for Public Service and Series Writing, two Associated Press Managing Editors' awards for Public Service, the Clark Mollenhoff Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting, three National Press Club awards for consumer journalism, and three Brechner Freedom of Information awards.
He lives in New Jersey. He has been a visiting professor at Syracuse University, New York, and has lectured at other universities including Harvard and Southern California.
His debut novel, Cold Rolled Dead, was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award in 2007, and was a best-seller for several weeks on Amazon.com's Techno-thriller list. His work has been compared to Tom Clancy and Mario Puzo. The Beachcomber review called it an "exciting first novel...(with a) narrative that makes The Godfather seem quaint and naive.... The Asbury Park Press, D'Ambrosio's employer, called the novel "... a page-turner with hefty detail on police procedure ... and human nature at its darkest....
D'Ambrosio is a national expert in a field of journalism called computer-assisted reporting, which uses various programs to analyze government data. An unnamed precursor to DataUniverse was launched in the Spring of 2005 by D'Ambrosio, and the full DataUniverse was launched on the Asbury Park Press's website, on December 1, 2006. The site is programmed and maintained by D'Ambrosio. DataUniverse now contains more than two dozen databases from crime records to property sale information, and garners about 1 million page views a week. The DataUniverse model has been widely duplicated throughout the Gannett newspaper chain and other news outlets.
- Vital Signs (1996) (D'Ambrosio, Linsk, McEnry, Becker)
- A year-long look at the state's hospital oversight system
- House of Cards (1997–98) (Asbury Park Press Staff)
- A year-long investigation of the subprime mortgage industry.
- Right to Know Nothing (1999) (D'Ambrosio)
- The first in a series of stories over four years about the lack of access the public has to government documents, such as budgets.
- Profiting from Public Service (2003–2004) (D'Ambrosio and Gannett New Jersey staff)
- This 38-page look at political and moral corruption in the New Jersey Legislature led to the downfall of the powerful state Senate President and the passage of a number of ethics reform bills.
- Pay to Play and The Power Brokers (2004) (D'Ambrosio, Prado Roberts, and Gannett Staff)
- A detailed expose showing how political money is washed to hide millions of dollars in questionable contributions, and profiles of the 12 power brokers who ran New Jersey's government from behind the scenes.
- Fighting New Jersey's Tax Crush (2009) (D'Ambrosio, Mikle, Clurfeld, Bates, Mullen)
- An eight-part series examining the destructive nature of New Jersey's property tax system. Winner of the National Headliner Award and finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service.