Farewell, StateImpact New Hampshire

From Left: StateImpact Reporter Emily Corwin, NHPR News Director Sarah Ashworth, and StateImpact Reporter Amanda Loder

Becky Lettenberger / NPR

From Left: StateImpact Reporter Emily Corwin, NHPR News Director Sarah Ashworth, and StateImpact Reporter Amanda Loder

After two years and hundreds of posts, multimedia features, and radio stories, StateImpact New Hampshire is freezing this website and moving our business and economic coverage to NHPR.

StateImpact New Hampshire launched in late July of 2011 as a pilot collaboration between NPR and New Hampshire Public Radio.  The mission was to cover the business beat in a way that hadn’t been done before: using a combination of multimedia, data analysis, and shoe-leather reporting to break down how public policies, trends, and daily news developments affect regular people.

A hallmark of StateImpact New Hampshire has been our flexibility.  We began as a one-person, all-digital operation in our first year, focusing heavily on data and trends.  In the spring of 2012, we added a team member and expanded our reach into radio features, special series, and even video.  We will take this multi-faceted reporting mindset to the NHPR newsroom, where we will continue to find innovative ways to cover business, the economy, and other issues important to Granite Staters.

We thank you for following us on our social media accounts and RSS feed, and for checking in with the site.  We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in such a short stretch of time, and hope you will continue to follow our work at NHPR.

It’s always tough to narrow down years of work into a short list of highlights…but these are the stories that readers, listeners, and our peers have singled-out:

  • Getting By, Getting Ahead: We told the story of how each of New Hampshire’s regions is faring in a tough economy through audio profiles of seven Granite Staters.  Those stories were enhanced by a series of slideshows and web-only feature articles offering further depth on the economic trends and challenges facing each region.  We wrapped-up the series with a web interactive highlighting more perspectives from all seven people.  This effort was recognized with a first place national award for Multimedia Presentation from Public Radio News Directors Inc.
  • Why Our Roads Cost More Now: An unchanging part of StateImpact’s mandate has been to explain why parts of the economy we experience every day are the way they are.  In this story, we used animation to show why, year after year, it gets harder for New Hampshire to maintain its roads.
  • Local Government Center: The long-running fight between the state and one of the largest public insurance risk pools in the country is often opaque to outsiders. At any given time, the LGC controls up to $500 million in New Hampshire taxpayer funds.  The state contends the LGC illegally overcharged towns, cities, and school districts millions of dollars in order to bulk up its assets.  We made it our mission to make this dispute transparent. Here is our primer on the main issues involved. We also followed up on how much money the LGC could potentially give back to communities.
  • Local Food’s Growing Pains: After decades of decline, New Hampshire’s local food economy is growing, fast. But challenges unique to New England can make it difficult for farmers and processors to grow their businesses. These two stories look at how farm businesses are changing to meet this new demand.
  • Green Launching Pad: As part of the federal economic stimulus plan, the University of New Hampshire got funding to help startup businesses engaged in environmentally friendly work.  We followed the project from the early days to when the funding ran out, counting up jobs and following up on which startups failed, which succeeded, and which are having an impact on the state’s economy.
  • Why New Hampshire Is A First Choice For Second Homeowners:  New Hampshire has one of the heaviest concentrations of vacation homes in the country.  We examined which communities benefit the most in terms of taxes and real estate values with interactive maps, and explored the impact of the so-called ‘Silver Tsunami’ on these communities as Baby Boomers convert their second homes into retirement homes.
  • Female Inmates: Part of New Hampshire’s 2014-15 budget negotiations included the decision to replace the Goffstown women’s prison with a new facility in Concord. The decision was largely due to a class-action lawsuit filed by women prisoners against the state. On a trip to the prison, we found women limited to building cribbage boards and butterfly houses, while their male counterparts learned marketable skills like car repair.
  • Nanobreweries: In 2011, New Hampshire became the first state in the nation to recognize nanobreweries as separate from large-scale beverage manufacturers. In doing so, the state lowered certain Prohibition-era liquor limitations that make it hard for the little guys to get a license, open a tap room and get brewing. We decided to check in on Throwback Brewery in North Hampton, to see how things were going a year after opening.
  • Campaign Rhetoric: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” was a popular question during this country’s 2012 presidential election.  To help folks understand the big picture, we mapped out growth trends in New Hampshire’s major job sectors over a seven-year period.




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