Advanced Reporting: Who Owns Our Water?

During the Fall 2014 semester, students in adjunct professor Roddy Boyd's "MEJO 453: Advanced Reporting" class explored the legal battle between aluminum manufacturer Alcoa and the state of North Carolina over rights to a portion of the Yadkin River in Stanly County. The result of the students’ public records research, countless phone calls and emails, hours of interviews and sitting in court rooms, and numerous trips between Chapel Hill and Badin, North Carolina, is "Who Owns Our Water?," an in-depth look at Alcoa and North Carolina’s decades-long relationship and what the current legal struggle could mean for the state's economy.

Students Claire Williams, Max Miceli, Corinne Jurney, David R. Pingree, Mary Helen Moore, Brian Freskos, Kate Grise, Sarah Headley, Bradley Saacks and Jenny Surane researched, reported and wrote the investigative report, which was published Jan. 30, 2015, by the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation (SIRF). Boyd founded SIRF in 2012 with "the goal of providing in-depth financial investigative reporting for the common good."

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