Jason deBruyn

Data Reporter

Jason deBruyn is the WUNC data reporter, a position he took in September, 2016.

In the role, Jason investigates story lines hidden in data to uncover untold issues that matter to North Carolinians. He is passionate about giving a voice to the voiceless and using data to shine a light on disenfranchised groups who have been taken advantage of.

Prior to joining WUNC, Jason covered the business of health care and pharmaceuticals for Triangle Business Journal in Raleigh, an affiliate of the American City Business Journals network. His reporting roots trace to the Enquirer-Journal, a community newspaper in Monroe, North Carolina.

Dozens of cars wrapped around Burlington's makeshift vaccine center as people in Phase 1B waited to get vaccinated. There was a two to three hour wait time for most people.
Naomi Prioleau / WUNC

As some places in North Carolina enter the next phase of COVID vaccinations, people who are wanting to get vaccinated are experiencing long wait times.

North Carolina is currently in Phase 1B of its vaccination plan, meaning those who are 75 or older are able to get vaccinated.

Duke University Hospital received 2,925 does of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020.
Blyth Morrell / Duke University Hospital

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 300,000 doses of the vaccination against Covid-19 have been shipped to North Carolina. The CDC reports 94,865 people have received the first of two doses of the shot as of Jan. 2, though that data can lag by a few days.

The N95 mask, made by 3M.

This past spring, as stockpiles of personal protective equipment ran dry, North Carolina spent more than $220 million on various supplies, sometimes at a hefty markup.

Rendering of the proposed Downtown South development in south Raleigh.
Downtown South / Gensler

Developers for the massive Downtown South project in Raleigh received a critical rezoning approval by the City Council on Tuesday, just days before they say they would have abandoned the project.

The new zoning opens the door to massive development of 145 acres of mostly undeveloped land along South Saunders Street. When fully built out, Downtown South could include millions of square feet of office and retail, thousands of residential units and hundreds of hotel rooms, all anchored by a 20,000-seat soccer and entertainment stadium.

an eviction notice on a front door
Steve Rhodes / Creative Commons/http://bit.ly/2HmJ9nV

A new study has found that evictions directly led to higher COVID-19 cases and deaths.

In North Carolina, the researchers estimate there were 15,000 excess cases and 300 excess deaths due to evictions from March through early September.

Rendering of the proposed Downtown South development in south Raleigh.
Downtown South / Gensler

The ambitious multi-billion dollar development proposed for south Raleigh was hit with another blow Tuesday when the Raleigh Planning Commission unanimously denied the application.

The Raleigh City Council still has final say, and will consider the proposal after a Dec. 15 public hearing.

A boy wearing a mask shoots on an outdoor basketball court.
Pam Tso McKenney, The Menlo School / via Flickr

High school basketball season is beginning with a mask mandate.

Games don't tip off until January, but tryouts start this week. And the North Carolina High School Athletic Association is requiring everyone in the gym – athletes, coaches and trainers – to mask up.

gavel at courtroom
William Johnson / US Airforce Photo

After more than eight months without jury trials, Union County is holding its first Superior Court trial this week.

Scheduling that trial — or any trial — hasn't been easy. District Attorney Trey Robison said one felony case his office tried to schedule had to be delayed because the defense attorney was quarantined. Another — a breaking-and-entering case — couldn't be tried because someone in the defendant's household contracted COVID-19.

A picture of sweet potatoes.
Llez / Wikipedia

The sweet potato is North Carolina's state vegetable and it’s a cornerstone of agriculture in the Tar Heel State.

No state produces or exports more of the vegetable than North Carolina does, making it the No. 1 producer of sweet potatoes in the nation.

Chris Seward / AP Photo

In the final countdown to Election Day, the Trump and Biden campaigns turned attention to a swath of land just north of the South Carolina border and to the diverse people who live there.

Voters walk past campaign signs at the Graham Civic Center polling location in Graham, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.
Gerry Broome / AP Photo

North Carolina Republicans are frustrated that national media outlets haven't called the state for President Donald Trump yet in last week's election.

A car decorated with pro-Trump stickers and decals makes its way through downtown Hillsborough Saturday as part of the "Trump Train" to show support for President Trump and other North Carolina Republicans on the ballot this November.
Mitchell Northam / WUNC

There doesn't appear to be a strong correlation in North Carolina between counties that voted for President Donald Trump, and counties with high numbers of new COVID-19 cases, according to a WUNC analysis.

Voters walk past campaign signs at the Graham Civic Center polling location in Graham, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.
Gerry Broome / AP Photo

Updated at 8:15 p.m on 11/4/2020

Unlike some national races, the outcomes of most statewide races in North Carolina are more clear. Still, a few races are up in the air, with more than 100,000 absentee ballots left to count.

State Senate chamber
Dave DeWitt / WUNC


North Carolina Republicans have withstood a massive effort by Democrats inside the state and nationally to retake both General Assembly chambers.

Women listen during a drive-in rally for Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden at Cellairis Amphitheatre in Atlanta, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020.
Andrew Harnik / AP

Campaign contributions are considered a form of speech, and in the 2020 election, women are shouting.

More than ever, women are reaching deeper into their pockets to help sway elections. In North Carolina, those donations favor Democrats.

COVID coronavirus mask kids bikes police greenville
City of Greenville, via Flickr / https://bit.ly/2RONEMk

A new analysis from data scientists modeling the impact of COVID-19 in North Carolina shows rural areas and the older population are now being hit harder by the coronavirus.

Courtesy Cynthia Bulik

UNC-Chapel Hill researchers have embarked on what could become the world's largest eating disorders genetic study.

Gerry Broome / AP Photo

In contrast to the chaotic presidential debate earlier in the week, the third and final face-off between the top contenders in North Carolina's senate race last night was relatively mellow.

A screenshot from an ad by Everytown for Gun Safety.
Everytown for Gun Safety / YouTube

Gun regulation advocates hope to flip the U.S. Senate this November. But they want to influence local elections in North Carolina, too.

To win, they're targeting suburban women with a new campaign.

Firearms sales have surged this year. That has led to a corresponding backlog of background checks, which gun regulation advocates worry will lead to more prohibited purchases.

Louis DeJoy

United States Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has long been a political fundraiser in North Carolina. He’s amassed millions for Republican candidates in races for governor, Congress and president. Now that fundraising has come under scrutiny for possibly violating campaign finance law while the postmaster was CEO of New Breed Logistics.

Protesters in downtown Graham on July 12, 2020. Among other demands, they wanted the Confederate monument in front of the courthouse removed.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Protesters are drenched with sweat as they make the mile-and-a-half walk from Burlington to Graham on a hot July day.

These Black Lives Matter protesters are heading to the town square where they’re greeted with insults and Confederate flags from a group of mainly white counter protesters.

Led by Reverend Greg Drumwright, he advises them to ignore the counter protesters. He said it's more important to get their message out to the masses.

Protesters march through the streets of downtown Raleigh on Aug. 28, 2020, in support of Black lives and against police brutality.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Updated at 10:32 a.m. Aug. 29, 2020

Hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Raleigh Friday night to denounce police violence and the recent killings of Black Americans. Protesters marched peacefully for about three hours carrying signs with slogans including "Abolish the Police" and "Black Lives Matter."

Graham Protests
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

A federal court issued an emergency ruling this week, saying law enforcement likely violated the First Amendment rights of protesters in Alamance County. Protesters against police brutality and racial injustice have been met with stiff opposition from city and county officials, and from Confederate sympathizers.

A picture of lights on a police car.
Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr Creative Commons

Across the state, police traffic stops have dropped, but for white drivers they've declined twice as fast as for Black drivers.

Protesters calling for the removal of Confederate monument in Graham, North Carolina, face off with Confederate sympathizers on Saturday, July 11, 2020.
Jason de Bruyn / WUNC

There were tense moments in Graham over the weekend, as Black Lives Matter demonstrators came face-to-face with Confederate sympathizers.

Protesters in downtown Graham hold a Black Lives Matter flag on July 1, 2020.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

On July 1, a warm and muggy evening, a group of about 50 people gathered in downtown Graham to protest police brutality and racism. Most who drove by raised a clenched fist or thumbs up in support. Some flashed a different finger and had a different message.

This group of protesters followed very specific instructions. They stayed only in their designated corner of the small downtown square, located about halfway between Durham and Greensboro. And they stayed behind orange cones that police said were there for their protection.

The coronavirus pandemic appears to have helped spur an increase in gun sales. New preliminary research suggests those additional sales could be linked to higher rates of gun violence.

Graham Protests
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Activists in Alamance County are calling for policy overhauls to prevent police brutality, especially against Black people. And another group of protesters want a Confederate monument removed from downtown Graham, the county seat.

A statue on the ground with yellow caution tape and a cone on it.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Protesters in Raleigh pulled down parts of a Confederate monument Friday night after marching in celebration of Juneteenth.