Columbia Journalism School


William Wheeler's Haiti coverage makes USA Today front page

January 14, 2011

Photo/William Wheeler

Earlier this week on the first anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, William Wheeler, M.S. '07, M.A. '11, published several stories, including a USA Today cover story, on the country's continued devastation, disease and slow reconstruction.

Wheeler's interest in Haiti developed while researching the connection between environmental decline and political instability, a subject he covered in India and Pakistan in 2009. From there, he studied the Gulf oil spill's impact on New Orleans' wetlands and water mismanagement in Australia.

"In Haiti, deforestation had exacerbated flood risk and rapid urbanization," Wheeler explained. "After the earthquake, I got the idea for a book proposal focused on the reconstruction of Haiti as a lens on state-of-the-art development practice and nation-building strategies — and on how and why those efforts might fail or succeed in places like Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and elsewhere."


Wheeler has spent nearly two months as a journalist in Haiti since the earthquake. His work is supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, which promotes international journalism by subsidizing costs for immersion reporting projects. The Pulitzer Center has also funded Wheeler's reporting in Lebanon and South Asia.

Read Wheeler's coverage of Haiti

USA Today: "Year after Haiti quake, much still left undone"

Good Magazine: "Haiti's Dirty Habit: Can Smarter Stoves Heal Haiti?" and a slideshow

National Geographic: "Cholera & Cooperation Play Into Haiti Reforestation" and "Haiti's Cycle of Calamity"

Listen to Wheeler discuss his USA Today story on WYPR in Maryland

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