Annotated History: The Story of Flint

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 MLive.com, the largest media organization in Michigan.

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The Editors are the staffers of Columbia Journalism Review.