Community Well-being

Southern California’s inland San Bernardino County is one of the hubs of the new on-demand shopping economy. Massive warehouses provide jobs but draw hundreds of trucks spreading diesel pollution into neighborhoods that were already plagued by bad air quality. Grist tells the story by a community grappling with a choice between its personal and financial health by following a group of women who have organized over the years to fight for the well-being of their children. Read the Story »

The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, from the Center for Sustainable Journalism, went looking for solutions to the public health crisis that is gun violence in the city with the nation’s second-worst rate of firearms deaths. As part of a prevention program in Birmingham, Alabama, people from 60 houses of worship do weekly “peace walks” in high-crime communities. They go door to door, talking to residents with a simple goal: “Listen, love, learn.” Read the Story »

Next City showed how an early-intervention program in Syracuse, N.Y., reduced evictions by 75% after only one year, saving the city housing authority $116,000. The story supported Next City’s mission of highlighting urban policy solutions so one city can learn from another. Read the Story »

PA Post collaborated with public broadcaster WITF and local news outlet PennLive on a monthlong, multimedia series marking the 40th anniversary of the partial nuclear reactor meltdown at Three Mile Island. The project not only retold the events of 1979, but explored the challenges of the ongoing decommissioning of the remaining reactors at the site and nuclear power's role in responding to climate change. Read the Story »

In a yearlong, multimedia “Aging Justice” series, City Limits brought attention to the impact of an aging population on New York City policies, institutions and the elderly themselves. Their advocates have since gotten much of what they asked for in the city’s 2020 budget, including $2.1 million in funding for 10 senior centers at NYC Housing Authority developments that were set to close. Read the Story »

Finding that people with nowhere to live besides their cars were parking at highway rest stops to sleep overnight, The Reporters Inc. explored what more could be done about homelessness. Read the Story »

IowaWatch from the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism examined one way that population shifts challenge the viability of small towns: As rural populations decline, state government invests more in larger cities where the population is growing. Read the Story »

Wausau Pilot and Review detailed decades of pollution by major companies located within a residential area, along with efforts by a citizens group to hold polluters accountable. The reporting resulted in a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources investigation into past burning practices at the facilities, and the potential health impacts on residents. Read the Story »

Some at-risk youth in Camden, New Jersey, have been recruited to help mitigate the city’s sewage and stormwater problems through rain gardens and other forms of green infrastructure. This CivicStory video report explains how the PowerCorps program works, and why a humble utility authority took the lead in social innovation. Watch the Story »

Berkeley has one of California's highest rates of pedestrian and cyclist accidents. In response, Berkeleyside tracked every reported incident that resulted in injuries, showing which streets and intersections were particularly dangerous. In addition to the database work, Berkeleyside told the stories of the most seriously injured people, following them through recovery. Read the Stories »

The Franciscan Sisters, who had tended to the needs of California’s San Juan Valley farmworker families since 1950, were called by their church to transfer to New York. BenitoLink broke the story and recognized the sisters’ years of service. Read the Story »

A 65% rent increase for an 81-year-old tenant was the focus of a New Haven Independent series examining the issues of housing affordability and gentrification. The story led to a compromise that kept the man in his home and sparked broader discussion about solutions. Read the Story »

A letter to the editor in a local weekly set off fierce debate about public support programs by suggesting that if people couldn't afford to live on Cape Cod they should leave. Lower Cape TV/Lower Cape News responded by digging into an underreported dynamic in which seasonal residents and trophy homes have priced out year-round residents of Cape Cod, young families and the workers who run the region’s daily operations. Watch the Story »

A Public Herald investigation uncovered that Pennsylvania is allowing sewage treatment plants to discharge radioactive fracking waste into 13 waterways. Landfills accept the waste, rainfall leaches out some of the soluble constituents, then the state Department of Environmental Protection lets the sewage plants “treat” and discharge the leachate. Other states have adopted the same practice, which appears to date at least as far back as 2009. Read the Story »

Joey Bacon (left) fishes the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa. with his friend. Photo credit: Joshua B. Pribanic/ Public Herald


Retro Report examined two opposing popular narratives: that driverless cars are in our immediate future, and that autonomous vehicles are a pipe dream. A short documentary film explored the challenges of teaching machines to drive, and found limited circumstances under which driverless transportation is possible now or anytime soon. About 100 people attended a screening and lively panel discussion promoted in partnership with The New York Times. Read the Story »