Since the pandemic began, WNIN, the University of Evansville and contributors across seven Midwestern states have worked to chronicle its impact. You won't see or hear these stories anywhere else.
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We call it COVID Between the Coasts- stories of the impact of the historic time we're living in. Since April, WNIN lead reporter Sarah Kuper and reporter Steve Burger have worked closely with researchers and journalism students from the University of Evansville to comb through the data on the coronavirus in seven Midwestern states. Their work resulted in a comprehensive data visualization of the spread and impact of the virus. It also produced the stories you see below.
By using the data, we were able to quickly focus on the geographical areas of the selected region that needed closer attention. Using a small grant from Google, we contracted with public media reporters and acquired government documents that sharpened our inquiries into important areas like the medical supply chain.
COVID Between the Coasts is an ongoing reporting project. Please check back in the coming weeks and months for other stories from the Midwest. Let us know if you have an interesting story of the pandemic. It is our hope that we'll be able to gather enough information so you and others can know the lessons learned, and how we might handle something like this in the future.
CBC S 1 E1: Survivor Stories- Reporter Julianna Dunphy went deep into social media to find Midwestern stories of people who've had the virus, and those deeply affected by it.
CBC S 1 E 2: Detroit: A Day in District Five- Reporter Steve Burger spent a day in the city that was badly hit early in the pandemic.
CBC S1 E3: Chicago: A Tribute to Essential Workers- When Que Pasa, Midwest? reporters Judith Ruiz-Branch and Karli Goldenberg wanted to produce a story on the essential workers of their city, they looked no further than those featured on a mural in Pilsen.
CBC S 1 E4: Minneapolis- The Supply Chain- Reporter Sarah Lemancyzk lives close to a 3M plant in Minnesota. 3M makes N95 masks and other protective gear. Sarah wondered why she can't get one. It turns out the medical supply chain is complicated and driven by profits.
CBC S1, E5: COVID by the Numbers- Data researchers from the University of Evansville spent weeks gathering and cleaning data to help inform our reporting. In the process, they discovered that while the pandemic is a natural occurance, the depth of the crisis it caused is our own fault.
CBC S1, E6: COVID in the Countryside- Lead reporter Sarah Kuper discovered that in rural areas of the Midwest, we are our own worst enemy when it comes to the pandemic.
CBC S1 E7: Borders- There are many types of borders. Some of them caused considerable disruption and controversy during the pandemic.
CBC S1 E8: COVID Interrupts Athletes' Dreams- A ChangeLab investigations class at the University of Evansville tracked down athletes, coaches and trainers to talk about the pandemic's impact on college recruiting.