Todd Bensman


TODD BENSMAN, a two-time National Press Club award   winner, has worked domestically and abroad as an investigative newspaper, television and magazine journalist for more than 20 years.

In October 2009, Bensman left the journalism field, joined a law enforcement agency and works with criminal intelligence. A sampling of his journalism through the year 2009, however, will remain at this site, without updates, due to continuing interest from academia, government and media.

Prior to leaving the media, Bensman reported on Islamic terrorism and counterterrorism enforcement, U.S. border security, and Mexico’s ongoing civil drug war.  He is the recipient of regional, national and international awards for a spectrum of local and foreign journalism.

Bensman has reported in 25 countries, ranging from Syria and China to Angola and Nicaragua. Domestically, his reporting spurred numerous federal investigations, indictments and convictions.

He holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism - Columbia, and earned a master’s degree in homeland security studies, with Distinction, from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security. He earned his bachelors degree in journalism, with honors, from Northern Arizona University - Flagstaff. In April 2012, Northern Arizona University’s School of Communication presented him with its annual  Associated Press  Robert Eunson Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in Journalism.


From April 2006 through September 2009, Bensman served as an investigative projects reporter for Hearst Corporation’s The San Antonio Express-News. His work there led the federal conviction of a Bexar County Housing Authority board member and also earned some 15 awards from, among other organizations,  the Texas Institute of Letters, Inter-American Press Association and the Houston Press Club. For his last six months’ work at the Express-News, the Houston Press Club in 2010 named him a finalist for Journalist of the Year.

From 2003 to 2006 he served as a staff investigative producer for the CBS-owned Dallas, Texas station, KTVT-11. His work there prompted an FBI corruption investigation that produced a conviction in 2010 against Texas State Representative Terri Hodge. His reporting also spurred conviction of a Bexar County Commissioner for corruption and the mortgage fraud conviction of Cowboys player Eugene Lockhart, along with numerous co-defendants.

For ten years, from 1993 to 2003, Bensman worked as a staff reporter for The Dallas Morning News,  covering federal law enforcement agencies with an emphasis on Islamic extremism and counterterrorism enforcement programs after 9/11. Often dispatched to breaking national stories, he also covered the Oklahoma City bombing investigation, Columbine school shootings, the Jonesboro school massacre and the Space Shuttle Colombia crash.

Foreign reporting has been a stock in trade. Awarded one of the first International Reporting Project fellowships, he reported for The Dallas Morning News from Angola, Namibia and South Africa.

During the early 1990s, Bensman worked abroad as a freelance correspondent in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe. For nearly a year, in 1992 and 1993, Bensman covered combat in Croatia and Bosnia with an emphasis on the siege of Sarajevo from inside the embattled city. He contributed war coverage to USA Today, The Canadian Press, The St. Petersburg Times, and The Houston Chronicle. He also produced rare reportage from the short vicious war in the former Soviet republic of Moldova, and on the peaceful breakup of Czechoslovakia, Hungarian nationalism and economic transition in Ukraine.

In 1991, he covered the Gulf War, starting in Israel, where he reported on scud missile attacks in Tel Aviv for United Press International. He also covered violent anti-U.S. demonstrations in Jordan and refugee flows in Egypt.

From 1988 until the start of the Gulf War, he worked for The Anchorage Times in Alaska, covering the city government, volcanic eruptions, avalanches and the occasional grizzly bear attack.

He began his journalism career in Arizona in 1987 at The Mesa Tribune.

Bensman can be reached at 210-859-0202 or


             Bensman accepting National Press Club award, August 2009