There’s a fascinating story around the work of Flatwater Free Press (FFP), a WordPress publisher in Nebraska.
Yanqi Xu is a reporter for FFP. She won a national award for “Our Dirty Water”, a series about Nebraska’s high nitrate levels and their connection clusters amongst local residents. Farmers in Nebraska are using fertilizers full of nitrate. That nitrate making people sick across the state and forcing local governments to spend millions of dollars to clean up their drinking water.
The series also has this side-by-side comparison of nitrate levels and cancer levels:
For that series, Yanqi Xu was attacked by Nebraska’s governor whose family owned some of the farms producing nitrate.
I highly recommend reading the response from FFP’s Executive Director. His response defends Yanqi and tells her story. She grew up in Guangzhou, China, then moved to the University of Missouri-Columbia and studied journalism. Her experience was documented by Poynter.