News21: The “Back Home” project

PublicSource is pleased to partner with News21, an annual student journalist investigative reporting project that is focusing this year on veterans.

Starting in April of 2012, PublicSource and its Pittsburgh media partners, including WESA.fm, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, City Paper and others, published a series of articles about veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Those articles are still on the PublicSource website if you missed them when they ran.

They involved PTSD, employment, the GI Bill, and the long waits many veterans had experienced for disability claims. We’ll update you on some of those issues and others with the News21 project, a national view of veterans issues.

We will publish several of the News21 reports and multi-media presentations, including pieces on bonuses that the VA’s disability claims advisors receive, suicides in returning veterans, women who are sexually assaulted, and homelessness.

In the 12 years since American troops first deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, more than 2.6 million veterans have returned home. The repercussions of their experiences will not lessen quickly.

We’re proud to publish the work of the talented News21 journalists and to continue our focus on veterans and the problems they often have as they re-enter a life beyond war.

News21 is a program at Arizona State University that uses more than 20 journalism students from a dozen universities each year to investigate one topic. The program is based at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU and is led by former Washington Post Editor Leonard Downie. Jacquee Petchel, the former investigations editor at the Miami Herald and the Houston Chronicle, is the Executive Editor of the investigations program.

News21 is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Hearst Foundations, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, Women & Philanthropy at ASU and the Peter Kiewit Foundation.