CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Paul Nyden, a veteran investigative reporter with The Charleston Gazette, has died.
Tributes to Nyden’s years of work focusing on West Virginia’s coal industry came flowing in through social media on Saturday. Others remembered personal touches about Nyden, such as his hosting of weekly Sunday dinners with young journalists.
Nyden retired from the Gazette in 2015 when it combined with the Charleston Daily Mail. Staffers at the newspaper said Nyden had a heart attack and died overnight Saturday.
Senator Joe Manchin was among those who offered public praise for Nyden’s work in West Virginia journalism.
“Paul was a giant at the Charleston Gazette and the impact of his work was felt across West Virginia and Appalachia,” Manchin, D-W.Va., stated in a release distributed by his office.
“His relentless search for the truth and commitment to his craft set the bar for what responsible investigative journalism looks like. West Virginia is safer for our coal miners and healthier for our communities because of Paul’s work.”
The West Virginia AFL-CIO also released a statement praising the focus of Nyden’s work.
“Paul was a real hero to the organized labor community, in large part because of his focus in reporting on issues that matter to West Virginia’s working families,” stated AFL-CIO President Josh Sword.
“Because of Paul, issues like retirement security, workplace safety and workers’ right to organize were front and center during his tenure as a reporter. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Paul’s family during this difficult time.”
Gazette-Mail reporter Eric Eyre, who won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism in 2017 for his coverage of the effects of opioids on West Virginia communities, described his appreciation of Nyden on Twitter.
This kind of public service reporting by Paul Nyden (excerpted from @IRE_NICAR Book 3/Top Investigations) is why I and others came to the @wvgazettemail . He was a titan of investigative journalism. pic.twitter.com/rcF84ttn4B
— Eric W. Eyre (@EricEyre) January 6, 2018