Annotated History: The Story of Flint

March 7, 2019

On September 24, 2015, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha stood before a bank of TV cameras to deliver alarming findings from her study of the drinking water in Flint, Michigan: more than 1,700 children had elevated levels of lead in their blood. For a few years, Flint had been controlled by state-appointed emergency managers and, in April 2014, one of them had decided to change the water supply to save money.

Dr. Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician working at Flint’s Hurley Medical Center, produced the first hard data to publicly challenge government officials who insisted that the water met state quality standards. A few months later, the Obama administration declared a state of emergency in her town.

CJR asked Dr. Hanna-Attisha to revisit an article on the water from The Flint Journal, published four times per week and part of, the largest media organization in Michigan.

The Editors are the staffers of the Columbia Journalism Review.