In 2009, a group of four Carnegie Fellows examined child labor issues happening right here in the U.S. Despite, with a rare few exceptions, it being against the law for children under the age of 12 to work in major agricultural operations, the team found the law was widely ignored and poorly enforced, especially in America's blueberry fields. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REPORT. After the investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor announced enforcement actions against a dozen blueberry farms in New Jersey, Michigan and North Carolina, and levied fines against Adkin.
In the most recent year of the Carnegie Fellows program, 2010, five graduate students investigated how politicians behave when no one is watching. All too often, the statehouse is a forgotten part of American government. Yet the country's state legislators have huge power, controlling more than $1 trillion in taxes and spending and laws that affect everyone. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REPORT.
In this week's episode of "Brian Ross Investigates," student Alyssa Newcomb, from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, discusses the inappropriate behavior she experienced by Puerto Rican lawmaker Jorge Navarro during a national convention of state legislators this summer in Louisville, Kentucky.
"He would just not leave me alone. I put my hand up and I said 'please can you back away, stop.' He didn't get the message, and it was really a difficult situation," Newcomb told Brian Ross via Skype. "I was in shock that it was happening. It was really unbecoming behavior of a lawmaker."
In a statement to ABC News, Navarro denied any misconduct, and said he got close to the student to understand her, since the music was loud and he doesn't speak English well.
Newcomb said other challenges of the project included obtaining undercover video, getting cooperation from the FBI and other agencies, and reaching out to the politicians that were examined in the report. The experience, while at times daunting she said, was very valuable.
"It was really exciting and a good experience for me to kind of bring back this type of journalism that we really need," Newcomb said.
The 34 alums of the Carnegie Fellows program, which is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, are now working around the world.
Many have stayed with ABC News: Dana Hughes, '05, is a digital reporter based in Nairobi, Africa. Tahman Bradley, '06, is a digital reporter in Washington, DC. Angela Hill, '07, and Megan Chuchmach, '08, are both producers for the investigative unit in New York. Kate McCarthy, '07, is a producer for Good Morning America, and Melia Patria, '05, and Karson Yiu, '05, are both producers for Nightline.
Elsewhere, Brooks Jarosz, '08, is a reporter with an NBC affiliate in Charleston, West Virginia. Robert Lewis, '07, is a reporter for the Sacramento Bee, working in investigative pieces both local and statewide in scope. David Schneider, '07, is an anchor/reporter/producer with an NBC affiliate in Burlington, Vermont. And Jim Matheny, '06, is a reporter for an NBC affiliate in Knoxville, Tennessee.