CNN Investigative Reporter Ashley Fantz

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Why did police destroy over 400 rape kits in cases where the statute of limitations hadn’t expired or when there was no time limit to prosecute? That’s the question that drove CNN reporter Ashley Fantz and her colleagues Sergio Hernandez and Sonam Vashi to spend more than a year to create Destroyed, a multi-media investigative report that has already led to changes to how police handle rape kits, calls for legislation and more changes on the way.  

On this episode, Ashley shares the challenges she had to overcome to report this story and takes you inside the mind of a journalist who has tackled some of the toughest problems in society and the world. She gives an inside look at how editorial teams tackle highly-complex, data-driven reporting, her process and how she navigates the emotional geography that comes with writing investigative reports about hard hitting topics including child abuse, the high suicide rate among military family members, the war in Syria and the deadliest tornado in U.S. history in Joplin, Missouri.

I’ve known Ashley for more than two decades since we met as students at the University of Missouri-Columbia. I deeply admire the direct impact she has made in the world with her tenacious reporting and I’m thankful for what she shared on this episode. Follow her on Twitter @afantz. You are what you overcome. #choosethehardway.
If you have questions, comments or want to suggest a guest please reach out to @hardwaypod on social or email me at I’ve had times in my life when I’ve been in hot pursuit of my dreams and gave up when I hit obstacles I didn’t think I could overcome. After more than two decades working with the world’s top performers, I’ve learned that to be the best in the world, or just find your personal best, you have to choose the hard way. There aren’t shortcuts or hacks that will get you there. And you’re going to fail over and over along the way. By sharing these stories, I hope to empower more people to reach beyond who they think they are and just keep going, no matter what they encounter in life.

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Andrew Vontz