AU student to participate in investigation on water quality

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 

“Jordan

Photo by Jeff Watts, AU

Jordan Houston

Jordan Houston, an AU journalism master's student and intern at the Workshop, joins 29 other top journalism students from across the United States, Canada and Ireland to investigate water pollution and its impact on health in the U.S. as part of the 2017 Carnegie-Knight News21 national reporting initiative. Houston is the first student from American University to participate in the program. 

News21, headquartered at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, was established by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to demonstrate that college journalism students can produce innovative, in-depth multimedia projects on a national scale.

The students have already begun working. This spring semester they are participating in a seminar in which they are researching water issues, interviewing experts and beginning their reporting. Following the seminar, the students will start paid summer fellowships at the Cronkite School and travel across the country to report and produce their stories.

"In addition to water safety issues, we will be examing how water contamination and safety problems affect people in disadvantaged communities, remote communities and places where the issue is sometimes overlooked or ignored," said Jaquee Petchel, executive editor of News21 and the director of the summer reporting effort. "The advantage of a national investigation is that we'll be investigating the topic in every state and reaching out to people everywhere, as well as examining state and national data."

Previous Carnegie-Knight News21 projects have examined issues ranging from food safety to gun rights, from veterans' issues to voting rights. The student work is published at news21.com and by dozens of news organizations, including the Investigative Reporting Workshop, The Washington Post, USA TODAY, NBC News.com and the Center for Public Integrity. 

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