Aaleah McConnell

WHQR Public Media

Reporter Profile

Aaleah McConnell covers the criminal justice system in New Hanover County, North Carolina, at WHQR Public Radio. Before joining Report for America, McConnell completed a fellowship with the national nonprofit organization States Newsroom, where she focused on enterprise stories centered on the affordable housing shortage, mental health care, and education. Before that, she interned at the Georgia Recorder reporting on laws proposed under the gold dome of Georgia’s state Capitol during the 2023 Georgia Legislative session. She also covered the 2022 Georgia Legislative Session for Gold Dome Debrief, a weekly podcast produced by Fresh Take Georgia. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Emerging Media from Kennesaw State University, with a minor in African and African American Diaspora Studies. When not serving underserved communities through journalism, she loves to roller-skate and go on long walks with her dog Kai.

Beat: Criminal justice in New Hanover County, NC

The criminal justice system in New Hanover County, NC, is a perfect place to explore how law enforcement, courts, jails and prisons work—and how the system often operates exactly as it was designed. It's also a place to examine where the system breaks down, potentially violating human and Constitutional rights, in ways that disproportionately hurt people from low-income and minority communities.