About Troubled Water
“Troubled Water,” an investigation into drinking water contamination in communities across the country, is the 2017 project of the Carnegie-Knight News21 program , a national multimedia reporting project produced by top journalism students and graduates. Each year, students selected into the program report in-depth on a topic of national importance.
This year, 29 journalism students from 18 universities are traveling across the country. They are conducting hundreds of interviews, reviewing thousands of pages of state and federal statutes and other records and building databases and data visualizations documenting the issues surrounding water pollution.
The student work began in January 2017 with a video-conferenced seminar that included reporting and research. In May, they began the 10-week investigative reporting fellowship based out of a newsroom at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University’s downtown Phoenix campus.
News21 is supported by grants from the Carnegie Corp. of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as well as The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Hearst Foundations, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, the Peter Kiewit Foundation of Omaha, Nebraska., and Women & Philanthropy, part of ASU’s Foundation for a New American University.
News21 is committed to accuracy and welcomes feedback on the accuracy of packages from sources and members of the public. Staff members and editors will correct errors of fact and clarify confusing information promptly and in a straightforward manner.
We will note significant corrections and clarifications within packages. We will correct minor spelling, punctuation and grammar errors without notice.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM
THE CARNEGIE CORPORATION OF NEW YORK
JOHN S. AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION
ETHICS AND EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM FOUNDATION
LOUIS A. “CHIP” WEIL
DIANE LANEY FITZPATRICK
FRED W. SMITH
DALLAS MORNING NEWS
Fraser Allan Best | @FraserAllanBest
Fraser Allan Best is a graduate student with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Best is a Canadian journalist with a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Toronto. Best worked as an editor at “the newspaper,” an independent paper in Toronto. Best also hosted Leading Tone, a radio program discussing current affairs that was broadcast province-wide from a Toronto studio.
Bryan Anderson | @BryanRAnderson
Bryan Anderson is an Elon University senior pursuing a double major in journalism and media analytics with a minor in political science. He has reported for the News & Observer in Raleigh, The Times-News in Burlington and The Charlotte Observer. Anderson also served as the enterprise manager and news editor of his school’s student-run news organization, Elon News Network. Anderson has won awards from Associated Collegiate Press and Hearst.
Macee Beheler | @MaceeBeheler
Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Fellow
Macee Beheler is a recent graduate from the University of Oklahoma. She received her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. She produced a political segment as an intern at KGOU, Oklahoma’s NPR station. She reported local news as an intern at KWTV-TV. She worked as a producer and reporter for OU’s TV broadcast, OU Nightly.
Bryn Caswell | @bryncaswellmmj
Bryn Caswell is a senior at the University of Alabama pursuing dual majors in telecommunication and film and political science, with a concentration in electronic news. She most recently worked as a general assignment reporter for WVUA in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and she will return to that position in fall 2017. Caswell has previously interned for WBNS in Columbus, Ohio, Crimson Tide Productions and the SEC Network.
Claire Caulfield | @CaulfieldCM
Chip Weil Fellow
Claire Caulfield is a recent graduate from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She has covered education policy in the nation's capital, election night in New York City, small-town justice in Louisiana and Native American land rights. Former internships with KJZZ-FM, the Public Insight Network Bureau and Cronkite News/Arizona PBS have given her experience in radio reporting, community engagement and television reporting. The News21 documentary is her second long-term investigative project.
Maria Esquinca | @m_esquinca
Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Fellow
Maria Esquinca is a master of mass communications student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She will graduate this summer and will become a master’s of fine arts poetry student at the University of Miami in the fall. She has worked as an investigative reporter for Chucopedia in El Paso, and she interned with The New York Times Student Journalism Institute and the Dow Jones News Fund Business Reporting Internship at Crain’s Detroit Business. She also worked at the student newspaper, The Prospector.
Jordan Houston | @JordanHouston3
Knight Foundation Fellow
Jordan Houston is a multimedia journalist based in Phoenix. She previously worked as an investigative reporting intern at The Washington Post while pursuing a master’s degree in broadcast journalism at American University. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, WVII-TV, ROOSTERGNN, The Sophian and The Investigative Reporting Workshop.
Andrea Jaramillo | @andrea_jota
Andrea Jaramillo is a Mexican anthropologist. She is completing her master’s degree in journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and she wants to tell stories from a cultural and anthropological perspective. At Cronkite, she has reported on the Latino vote in Phoenix and Mexicans’ perspectives on NAFTA. She also worked as an online reporter for the Mexican news platform El Semanario Sin Limites, where she covered social, cultural, public health and political issues. She’s done ethnographic fieldwork with indigenous groups in the Sonoran Desert, with farmworker communities in Tlaxcala, Mexico, and with undocumented immigrants in Phoenix.
Lauren Kaljur | @lorin12
Lauren Kaljur is a Canadian-Estonian multimedia journalist based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her photography, videos and audio stories tend to focus on environmental, indigenous and global economic affairs and have been recognized by the Online News Association. She has covered young women fleeing forced marriage in Kathmandu, Nepal, and the construction of an indigenous pit house in the coastal mountain ranges of St'át'imc Nation. You can find her work on CBC, Yukon News, Arctic Deeply and PBS Newshour.
Brandon Kitchin | @BrandonKitchin
Brandon Kitchin is a junior at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, where he studies journalism with a minor in communication studies. Kitchin is a Hearst Journalism and Jim Trinkle scholarship recipient. His photos have been featured in TCU’s weekly newspaper, The Skiff, as well as online on tcu360.com
Rachel Konieczny | @rachelkonieczny
Rachel Konieczny is a 2017 magna cum laude graduate of St. Bonaventure University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication. She previously served as news and photo editor for her campus newspaper, The Bona Venture, and she was the beat writer and photographer for Duquesne men’s basketball during her internship with Pittsburgh Sporting News. She will study intellectual property law at the University of New Hampshire this fall.
Jenna Miller | @jennamargaretta
Jenna Miller is a master’s student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She received her bachelor’s degree in international studies from the City College of New York. Miller is a multimedia journalist who has reported from Albania to Arizona on environmental issues, LGBTQ rights and business. Her work has been published in The Arizona Republic, the Phoenix Business Journal and on businessjournalism.org.
Amy Molloy | @amymolloy9
Veronica Guerin Independent News & Media Fellow
Amy Molloy is a reporter with Independent News & Media, Ireland’s largest news organization. She is a recent graduate of Dublin City University with a master of arts in journalism. She has an undergraduate degree in law, and she previously worked as a caseworker on the Irish Innocence Project, which sparked her interest in investigative reporting. She spent the past nine months investigating Ireland’s housing crisis and the exploitation of foreign nationals by slum landlords. She also has experience in broadcast journalism and has worked with two of Ireland’s leading national radio stations, Newstalk and Today FM.
Elissa Nuñez | @elissa_nunez
Elissa Nuñez is a recent graduate of The George Washington University with a bachelor of arts in journalism and mass communication. She previously served as the current section editor at her school’s online news startup, The Rival GW. An aspiring political reporter, Nuñez has showcased her passion for storytelling through a variety of projects at CNN, the White House, NBC News, The New York Observer and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. She will return to Washington, D.C., to finish her master’s in media and strategic communication this fall.
Fionnuala O’Leary | @FionnualaOLear1
Veronica Guerin Dublin City University Fellow
Fionnuala O’Leary has worked for DMG Media Ireland as a showbiz reporter for EVOKE.ie and a general assignment reporter for the Irish Daily Mail. She also has experience in investigative reporting with the Irish Mail on Sunday. O’Leary moved to New York City in January, and she reported on science and technology for WonderHowTo.com. She has a master’s of arts in journalism from Dublin City University and graduated with first class honors. She also has a bachelor of arts in creative writing from National University of Ireland, Galway.
Agnel Philip | @agnel88_philip
Don Bolles/Arizona Republic Fellow
Agnel Philip graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and economics. He previously worked for Bloomberg, The Arizona Republic, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting and Downtown Devil. His work has been honored by the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, Society of Professional Journalists and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
William Taylor Potter | @wmtaylorpotter
William Taylor Potter is a senior at Louisiana State University, majoring in mass communication with a concentration in journalism. He has previously worked at The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware, and he is the editor in chief of The Daily Reveille at LSU. His work has been published by The Times-Picayune, The News Star in Monroe, Louisiana, The Shreveport Times and the Detroit Free Press.
Alexis Reese | @thealexisreese
Dallas Morning News Fellow
Alexis Reese is a senior at the University of North Texas in Denton. She will graduate with her bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism with a minor in sociology in fall 2017. Reese served as a chapter president of the National Association of Black Journalists during her sophomore year while attending Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.
Corinne Roels | @xocorinne
Corinne Roels is a master’s student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and genetics, also from ASU. Corinne is a multimedia journalist with a specialization in business reporting. Her work has been featured in The Arizona Republic, The Phoenix Business Journal and businessjournalism.org.
Michael M. Santiago | @msantiagophotos
Michael M. Santiago is a photojournalist based in Brooklyn, New York. Santiago received his bachelor’s in fine arts at San Francisco Art Institute and a master's degree from S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. His work focuses on issues concerning people of color and their communities, from obesity and cancer to race and identity. His work has been featured in The New York Times Lens Blog, VICE Australia, Slate, ESPN's The Undefeated, The San Francisco Chronicle, Scientific American, PBS Newshour and Buzzfeed News. His work has been honored by the Alexia Foundation, College Photographer of the Year and Photo District News. He was a student at the Eddie Adams Workshop XXVIII.
Karl Schneider | @karlstartswithk
Karl Schneider recently graduated from Kent State University with a degree in journalism. He previously worked at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel through the Dow Jones News Fund. Schneider was the senior editor and director of special projects at KentWired, Kent State’s student media outlet.
Elizabeth Sims | @elizabethsimsou
Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Fellow
Elizabeth Sims is a senior journalism major at the University of Oklahoma. She was a documentarian for the OU Covers Refugees project and a multimedia reporter for the OU Covers 16 election project. She was the senior technical director for the mobile journalism network, OU NewsCrowd. She also is the standing photographer and social media manager of the annual National Press Photographers Association News Video Workshop in Norman, Oklahoma. Her work has been published by The Huffington Post, The Oklahoman and the Tulsa World.
Briana Smith | @brianasmithh
Briana Smith recently graduated from Hofstra University with a master’s degree in journalism. Smith is a multimedia journalist and has a passion for writing feature stories. She has reported on variety of topics, including veterans’ issues and environmental justice. Smith has interned for NBC, MSNBC and ABC.
Jasmine Spearing-Bowen | @JasmineSpearing
Jasmine Spearing-Bowen is a graduate student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She received her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and marketing from Hawaii Pacific University. Spearing-Bowen is a multimedia journalist who has reported on immigration and environmental issues in the U.S. and Mexico.
Adrienne St. Clair | @agestclair
Adrienne St. Clair is a graduate student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Brigham Young University. St. Clair is a multimedia journalist who has a love for radio. She has reported on immigration and politics from both the United States and Mexico, and she has produced for KJZZ, NPR’s affiliate station in Phoenix.
Nicole Tyau | @nicoletyau
Nicole Tyau is a master’s student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, where she also received her bachelor’s degree. She has reported on border issues in the United States, Mexico and Hungary with the Cronkite School’s borderlands projects. She has investigated education issues, tax lien foreclosures and court-ordered restitution. Her work has been published in The Arizona Republic, Cronkite News, PHOENIX Magazine, Arizona Foothills Magazine and the Phoenix Business Journal.
Jackie Wang | @jcqlnwng
Jackie Wang is a recent University of Texas at Austin graduate, with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and government. She previously worked at The Texas Tribune, the Austin American-Statesman and the El Paso Times. She spent most of her college years at the university paper, The Daily Texan, finishing her time there as managing editor. She will return to Texas to work as a reporting fellow in the Dallas Morning News Austin bureau.
Chelsea Rae Ybanez | @rae_ybanez
Chelsea “Rae” Ybanez is a master’s degree student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She recently graduated from ASU with her bachelor’s degree in communication. Ybanez has travelled to Albania and across the U.S. as an investigative photojournalist. She has reported on business, human trafficking and environmental issues. Ybanez has done work for student publications at The Hope International Tribune and el Don newspaper.
Bliss Zechman | @BlissZechman
John and Patty Williams Fellow
Bliss Zechman graduated summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee in communications with a concentration in journalism and electronic media. She has previously worked at WBIR-TV and WATE-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee; WTVC-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Global Access Partners in Sydney, Australia, and the Southern Standard in McMinnville, Tennessee. She was a honored as a Scripps Howard academic achiever and professional promise scholar in 2017.
Jacquee Petchel | Executive Editor
Jacqueline Petchel, a longtime investigative reporter, editor and producer in newspapers and broadcast, is a professor of practice at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and executive editor of News21. She previously served as senior editor for investigations and enterprise at The Houston Chronicle. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and editor at The Miami Herald, the Arizona Republic and the Indianapolis Star/News and produced investigative journalism for CBS television stations in Minneapolis and Miami. She is a graduate of Arizona State University and a member of the Cronkite School Hall of Fame.
Len Downie Jr. | Professor and Editor
Leonard Downie is the Cronkite School’s Weil Family Professor of Journalism and vice president at large for The Washington Post, where he served as executive editor from 1991 to 2008. He is a founder and board member of Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc. and chairman of the board of advisers of Kaiser Health News. During his 44 years at the Post, Downie was an investigative reporter, editor on the local and national news staffs, London correspondent and managing editor and helped supervise the newspaper’s Watergate coverage. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Ohio State University. At the Cronkite School, Downie teaches the News21 seminar and an accountability journalism class.
Christina Leonard | Assistant Editor
Christina Leonard leads the Reynolds Business Reporting Bureau for Cronkite News at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She joined the Cronkite school in 2015 after 17 years as a reporter and editor at The Arizona Republic in Phoenix. Her leadership roles included Phoenix-West Valley regional editor, state politics editor, assistant business editor and editor-in-chief of two business magazines, Arizona Woman and bizAZ.
Alex Lancial | Visuals Co-editor
Alex Lancial is the co-founder and managing director of Scale Storytelling, a visual production company focused on international development and socially responsible organizations. She produced video journalism at The Boston Globe, where she won an Emmy Award for a story about sexual assault survivors and was nominated for several other films. Lancial is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. In 2014, she worked as a News21 fellow on the Gun Wars project, which focused on gun rights and regulation in the U.S. Her work also has appeared on HBO, the Center for Public Integrity and The Today Show.
Jim Tuttle | Visuals Co-editor
Jim Tuttle is the co-founder and creative director of Scale Storytelling, a visual production company focused on international development and socially responsible organizations. He has freelanced extensively in West Africa as a photographer and filmmaker, producing editorial and sponsored content. Tuttle is a graduate of Pennsylvania State and Syracuse universities. He served as a News21 fellow in 2014 and contributed to Gun Wars, the 2014 project about gun rights and regulation in the U.S. His work has been published by The New York Times, The Player’s Tribune, The Dallas Morning News and NPR.
Bhuvan Aggarwal | Web Application Developer
Bhuvan Aggarwal is the web application developer for Cronkite News and News21. He works with students at Cronkite News and helps them explore new storytelling techniques and ways to amplify the reader experience. Aggarwal has a master's degree in information technology and graduated from Arizona State University in May 2016.
Hari Subramaniam | Data Visualization Developer
Hari Subramaniam is the lead developer for the New Media Innovation Lab at the Cronkite School, working with students to develop digital products and enterprises. Hari used to run platforms at The Arizona Republic and worked independently with other software consulting services.
Rian Bosse | Digital Production Editor
Rian Bosse is the web content editor for the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. In 2016 he earned a master's degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. His work has been published by Time, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Arizona Republic and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Alex Chihak | Copy Editor
Alex Chihak is an editor at Gannett’s Phoenix Design Studio. He has worked as an editor for The Associated Press, The Palm Beach Post, the Austin American-Statesman, The Denver Post and several community newspapers.
Yu Zhang | Production Assistant
Yu Zhang is a graduate student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is pursuing a master's of mass communications with a focus on business journalism. Zhang earned her bachelor's degree at the Communication University of China in Beijing, China.
Kristin Gilger | Administrative Editor
Kristin Gilger is associate dean in charge of professional programs for the Cronkite School and is the chief administrator of News21, which is headquartered at the school. She was previously director of Student Media at Arizona State University, deputy managing editor for news at The Arizona Republic, managing editor of The Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon, and served in various editing positions at the Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans. Gilger holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from the University of Nebraska. This is her seventh national News21 project.