“Boxed In” invokes crowd at Peter White Library

North Wind Staff

NMU professor Dwight Brady along with 14 students from his BC300 Advanced Multimedia Journalism class initially started a class project to learn about the “dark stores” phenomenon in Michigan.

However, that quickly developed into an investigative journalism piece that is now known to a wide U.P. audience as “Boxed In.” The documentary has a running time of 24:30 and was presented before a standing room only crowd in the Community Room of the Peter White Public Library on Wed. August 24.

“Boxed In” focuses on how Michigan courts have allowed big box retailers and others to claim tax reductions equivalent to half or even one third of commonly accepted values in other states since 2010.

Brady estimated that he and his students logged over 300 hours researching, writing, shooting and editing the documentary. BC300 students even travelled to various areas of lower Michigan interviewing 15 different sources including Representative David Maturen, the current chair of the Michigan Tax Tribunal, Steven Lasher and former Chief Judge Jack Van Coevering.

Michael Williams, environmental studies and sustainability major, said it was an amazing experience for him.

“I definitely went into it with more confidence than I should have because once I was there it was kind of intimidating, but looking at the footage I felt great about it,” he added.

“This is a really important issue that is not getting much coverage from the media, so I hope that this documentary will put more momentum toward legislation and politicians to fix the issue.”