The story of my story

Writing a data driven story does have it challenges. Getting reliable sources as evidence for ones story is a challenge. As a journalist, you want to make sure that not only are the sources reliable in regards to facts, but also true and non-biased.

When creating my story for the Flint, Michigan’s water crisis, there were tons of data out there to incorporate into my story. One interesting topic came up with the decision to cut cost was race driven.  That led me to my first source using Data USA to get a better understanding of the demographics. This source outlined the income for the city as well as the individual ethnic groups that are citizens of this city.

Another source I used as primary, is the EPA for Flint. This source was crucial in This article was a timeline story dating from 2011 through 2018developing a fact based story. This particular source, I was able to get information on past and current lead levels in the Flint water systems and how they have decreased over the last seven years.

An additional source I used as a secondary measure was via CNN. This article was a timeline story dating from 2011 through 2018 and the different events that has taken place. This was important to me because I was able to get a complete article that another journalist or reporter has written that helps understand the momentum of what has transpired.

I did use several other sources, but the last two very important sources are from This source is very crucial to this type of data story. It was a call to the public to assist with not allowing this issue to go unnoticed or swept under the rug. This link included the address, email and phone number to the Governor of Michigan Rick Synder. Lastly,  an updated article from NBC News that was recent. This article was one of the latest in the developing albeit forgotten story of the crisis the citizens of Flint has been experiencing over the last seven years. Including, the governments decision to stop the bottle water program because lead levels are now within acceptable federal guidelines.

Author: Zahara Red

Zahara Red is an alumni from the University of Michigan Dearborn with a Bachelors of Arts with a concentration in English. She is currently in the process of publishing her first novel. Zahara has been married for 10 years and has four beautiful children.

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