Rachel Polansky is a three-time Edward R. Murrow Award winning and Emmy Award winning investigative reporter at WGCL-TV, Atlanta. She joined the investigative team at CBS46News in September 2021 after two years of award-winning investigative reporting at WKYC 3News, NBC, Cleveland. Rachel is most proud of her reporting that enacted change at both local and statewide levels. She is particularly adept at uncovering local, state, and federal public records and source development.
In Cleveland, her ongoing investigations into the state's refusal to release names of nursing homes with COVID-19 cases and deaths, Ohio's governor changed his tune and released the names. And when she reported that the new data was riddled with errors, the data was corrected. As cases continued to surge, families with loved ones in nursing homes continued to turn to Rachel. Reporters often say they got into this business to give a voice to the voiceless, Rachel turns that saying into reality every day.
Rachel also led the charge on a series of exclusive stories about a COVID-19 outbreak at Ohio's only federal prison. As families of Elkton inmates were met with silence, her reporting exposed horrible prison conditions and explained how the federal prison became a death trap for thousands of inmates.
Before moving to Cleveland, Rachel spent three years reporting at WBBH-TV, the NBC affiliate in Fort Myers, Florida. She spent two of those years reporting on contractor fraud, highlighting builders who stole from their often, vulnerable customers. She talked to people who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars - usually their life savings. She writes, “They couldn't get law enforcement to listen to them, but I listened. In turn, I got law enforcement and our local lawmakers involved. Eventually, one of those lawmakers filed legislation targeting these crooked contractors. One year later, Florida’s governor signed that legislation into law.”
Rachel says her work backs up her pledge to be a journalist who makes a difference in her community. “I've been told I'm like a dog with a bone when it comes to my investigative reporting. I don't give up, and I always hold the powerful accountable. Go ahead, underestimate me. That'll be fun.”
Rachel graduated Summa Cum Laude from The Penn State University.
The Pennsylvania State University; University Park, Pennsylvania Broadcast Journalism Major, English Minor Summa Cum Laude