ASU’s Howard Center recognized for lithium mines investigation

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The Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at ASU is gaining national attention for its investigation into lithium mines and their effect on the water supply.

To provide more details, we were joined by Mark Greenblatt, Executive Editor of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, Daisy Tanner, a reporter whose focus was California, and John Leos, a reporter and drone pilot who focused on Nevada.  

Tanner dug into regulatory documents surrounding proposed lithium mining projects. She found alarming figures about water usage from the Colorado River, raising concerns about sustainability.

Leos captured visuals of lithium mining operations. His footage provided important context to the investigative findings. Both Tanner and Leos shared how this project transformed them from journalists to investigative reporters, driven by a passion for uncovering challenging stories.

The most striking findings came from Nevada, where the team witnessed the depletion of groundwater because of lithium mining. They saw monitoring wells drastically decline in water levels over just a few years, showing the consequences of their findings.

The project aimed to teach students investigative journalism while tackling a story of national importance. Greenblatt emphasized the project’s importance in shaping the next generation of investigative journalists.

Mark Greenblatt, Executive Editor of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, ASU 
Daisy Tanner, Reporter
John Leos, Reporter and Drone Pilot

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