News21 is a national investigative reporting program headquartered in Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. It is supported by the Carnegie Corporation and the Knight Foundation. Each year the program's main topic changes and during my junior year, I became a 2019 Carnegie-Knight News21 Fellow.
The main topic for the year was federal disaster relief. By the end of the summer we had 28 news articles, 17 long-form stories, five podcast episodes and a four-part documentary.
STORIES AND ARTICLES
Wildfire-vulnerable communities search for ways to live with fire
SHINGLETOWN, Calif. — Unless it’s Sunday, Kelly Loew is steering her rusty-red Jeep down the same mail route in Shingletown, as she has six days a week for the last seven years. But she delivers less mail these days as California’s persistent wildfires drive residents away...
Reporting from this story contributed to a documentary episode and a podcast segment. This story was also picked up by more than 70 news organizations, including The Associated Press and U.S. News & World Report.
No clear solutions as weather keeps plunging U.S. into darkness
LANSING, Mich. — With disasters striking faster than utility companies and power grid managers can handle, millions are being left in the dark. When the power unexpectedly goes out in the U.S., seven out of 10 times, it’s because of weather. More than 32,000 power outages occurred in the U.S. from February 2008 through December 2017, affecting more than 215 million people, according to Eaton, a power management company that tracked blackouts until 2018...
Drone usage on the rise in wildfire fighting
MIAMI, Ariz — The hum of aerial drones was a soundtrack to the month it took to contain the Woodbury Fire in June, which burned its way to becoming the fifth largest wildfire in Arizona history. The fire burned nearly 124,000 acres of the Superstition Wilderness and the Tonto National Monument...
This story was picked up by Cronkite News, The Arizona Daily Sun, The Daily Courier, The Eastern Arizona Courier, The Tucson Sentinel, The Eastern Arizona Courier, Arizona Range News, Verde News, ThisIsTucson and Tucson.com.
Wildfire-vulnerable communities adapt to ever-present threat
PINETOP-LAKESIDE, Ariz. — Learning to live fire-wise is a cause for celebration in wildfire-vulnerable areas. Especially in Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona, which is in the process of becoming one of the country’s next fire adapted communities. Bounce houses, barbecues and face painting are recurring trademarks at the annual White Mountains Community Firewise Block Party...
This story was picked up by Cronkite News, The Tucson Sentinel, The Kingman Daily Miner and Indian Country Today.
I have a couple of fun life mottos, one of them is: "I have a face for radio and a voice for print." During News21, I ignored that sage advice and challenged myself to try different forms of storytelling. That's how I ended up with a segment in Episode 2: Response of News21's five-episode State of Emergency Podcast. The episode was produced by the incredible Sophie Grosserode, who helped me piece together my segment.
I've always dabbled in videography, but let me tell you, having a partner that went to film school made a world of difference. Dustin not only helped me improve my technical skills behind the camera but also taught me how to be more creative with my video storytelling. I had the honor of producing Episode 3: The New Normal of News21's four-episode State of Emergency documentary series.