What is in this article?:
- Student reporters spearhead food safety investigation
- 10-week investigation
- Stories being published by The Washington Post this week detail the widespread incidence and many causes of foodborne illness in the United States and show how a combination of industry practices and gaps in government oversight leaves consumers vulnerable.
Students selected for the summer reporting fellowship spent 10 weeks reporting and producing their projects, working out of newsrooms at ASU and Maryland. Sharon Rosenhause, former managing editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, managed the newsroom in Arizona, while the Maryland newsroom was led by Deborah Nelson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and senior lecturer at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, and fellow faculty members Sandy Banisky, former deputy managing editor at The Baltimore Sun, and Sean Mussenden, a director of the college’s Capital News Service.
Downie, who worked with students in both university newsrooms throughout the summer, said he was impressed with the student’s work. “They did a lot of very important original reporting, showed a great deal of initiative and accepted criticism from professional journalists,” he said.
Nelson added: “The program tapped and cultivated the innovative, investigative energy of some of the country's most talented journalism students. Those of us who had the chance to work with them can't help but be optimistic about the future of news.”
Rosenhause said food safety proved to be an issue to which everyone could relate. “We shop, we cook, we eat out, but a lot of us don’t think about what goes into the decisions we make about food,” she said.
Cronkite student Nathan O’Neal relished the opportunity to do in-depth reporting. O’Neal and fellow Cronkite student Stephanie Snyder spent seven months on their story about an E. coli outbreak linked to spinach.
In News21 “the story has time to evolve and the reporter has time to make it impactful,” O’Neal said.
Steve Doig, the Knight Chair in Journalism at the Cronkite School, assisted students with data gathering and analysis. Cronkite Associate Dean Kristin Gilger served as executive editor, and News21 National Director Jody Brannon was executive producer.
Other Carnegie and Knight recently renewed their commitment to News21 with $2.32 million in grants over the next 10 years. The next generation of the program will be modeled after the past two years’ multi-university investigative projects and will be open to students from any accredited journalism school in the U.S. It will be based at the Cronkite School and directed by Bill Marimow, former editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, managing editor and vice president of news at National Public Radio and editor of The Baltimore Sun.
The 2011 News21 fellows were:
• Rachel Albin, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
• Jeffrey Benzing, University of Maryland
• Kyle Bruggeman, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
• Maggie Clark, University of Maryland
• Alicia Cormie, Arizona State University
• Kerry Davis, University of Maryland
• Esther French, University of Maryland
• Nicole Gilbert, Arizona State University
• Judah Gross, University of Maryland
• Emily Hooper, University of Maryland
• Joanne Ingram, Arizona State University
• Mattea Kramer, Harvard University
• Max Levy, Arizona State University
• Teresa Lostroh, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
• Andrew Mach, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
• Andy Marso, University of Maryland
• Robynne McCullough, University of Maryland
• Tarryn Mento, Arizona State University
• Nathan O’Neal, Arizona State University
• Whitney Phillips, Arizona State University
• Brandon Quester, Arizona State University
• Brad Racino, University of Missouri
• Madhu Rajarman, University of Maryland
• Stephanie Snyder, Arizona State University
• Dustin Volz, Arizona State University
• Joe Yerardi, University of Missouri
• Maria Zilberman, University of Maryland