Charlie McGee reports on local government accountability and environmental issues for the Desert Dispatch in Barstow, California. Previously, McGee’s investigative work has detailed Hurricane Florence’s aftermath in an impoverished coastal town, for VICE; and sparked a criminal investigation by uncovering an illegal PAC in North Carolina for The Daily Tar Heel, the student paper of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Indy Week. McGee has written for Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal, and his investigative work on corporate titans in the coronavirus era is a soon-to-come book. He won multiple awards as a reporter at The Daily Tar Heel, including second place in the Associated Collegiate Press’s 2020 Reporter of the Year competition for a series that prompted a judge to reverse a $2.5 million deal between UNC-Chapel Hill and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He grew up in Huntersville, North Carolina.
Beat: Watchdog reporting of Barstow and Victorville
Mojave Desert: The communities of Barstow and Fort Irwin sit in the high desert and a news desert. There are more than 23,000 people in Barstow and 9,000 in nearby Fort Irwin, a U.S. Army Base that spans 7,000 square miles, but there is no journalist dedicated to covering these communities halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. This reporter will focus on local government accountability and environmental issues.