“Rough weather makes good timber.”
- old Southern Appalachian expression
When it comes to investigative journalism, Jessica Coates herself will be the first to tell you, she feels like she’s leaped into the deep end of the pool.
Actually, the rising senior journalism major from Charlotte had her own metaphor for the assignment: after working on the story for weeks, she says, “I feel like I’m crawling through a tunnel in the dark with only my hands out in front, feeling my way…searching for a tangible angle…”
All that hard work has paid off, with the publication of the story today, July 18, on the news site.
Jessica, one of our Batten Community Journalism summer scholars, is working as an investigative reporter for the Carolina Public Press, a non-profit digital start-up founded in Asheville by J-schooler Angie Newsome in 2011.
A past editor-in-chief of the Durham VOICE and former Community Journalism student, Jessica has been a real stalwart for me in our efforts to bring quality local journalism to central Durham. Now she’s off into the brave new world of investigative journalism — arguably the most daunting specialization in our profession, and one in which I have limited experience. So I am of little help in this realm.
So here’s a shout-out to Jessica for making this story happen. In a few weeks she’s off to Rio to help cover the Olympics for the J-school team. What an amazing summer this fine young journalist is having!