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Students assist on N&R series about textiles layoffs

Four School of Communications students are working on a special news project for the Greensboro News & Record. They are assisting Eric Heisler, a business reporter for the N&R, in gathering information for his series, "After the Shutdown." The articles are documenting the lives of more than 100 textile workers who lost their jobs when Guilford Mills closed its Greensboro plant about a year ago. Heisler has already written three major N&R Sunday centerpiece stories on the topic that ran April 1, July 22 and Oct. 28, 2001.

Elon students Elizabeth Sudduth and Jennifer Hildebrand, and Andi Petrini and Jessica Vitak, are doing the bulk of the research for the fourth and final article in the series. They are contacting the displaced workers by phone and asking them survey questions regarding their work lives since the layoffs. Each student will also write a 10-to-15-inch bylined profile on one of the workers.

The fourth and final installment of the series, featuring the Elon students' work, is slated to be the Sunday centerpiece in the N&R April 21. Heisler said the project is gaining national attention. "It is being introduced in Congress in discussions about labor and the economy," he explained. "Dateline NBC" is considering using some of the content as a concept on which to base a story about the significant changes in North Carolina's economy due to the demise of Big Tobacco and Big Textiles.

To read the N&R series online, go to: http://www.news-record.com/money/news/shutdown/guilf01.htm.



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