2015 APME/ASNE STANFORD CONFERENCE: Great Ideas
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Posted by: Laura Sellers-Earl
Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune
WHAT THEY DID: April 17, 2014, marked the 100th anniversary of Newtown, an African-American community of about 2,000 homes in north Sarasota. Since it was among a dwindling number of such communities in Florida and one likely containing a rich history, we decided to write a series of stories, along with videos, photo galleries, an events calendar and more, in conjunction with the centennial. The project was not without its challenges. From the beginning, most residents wanted no part of the newspaper and were not shy about expressing that sentiment. After all, the Herald-Tribune for decades had been mostly indifferent to Newtown, and when we did cover the community it almost always was connected to some crime there. The fact that the Herald-Tribune over the years has had few minorities on its staff also did not go unnoticed. Our antidote was simply to listen. Then we listened some more as we met with parents, teachers, students and others in Newtown to unearth the stories that had been shrouded by time and cloistered by residents.
We called the series Newtown 100: A Legacy of Struggle & Triumph. But none of us had a clue just how much struggle and triumph we would discover. The result was more than a dozen Sunday 1A stories written by a cross-section of reporters in the newsroom.
Stories included the first local soldier killed in Vietnam, and recent efforts to get him a gravestone honoring his service; the struggle to integrate area beaches in the 1950s; and the life of former Newtown resident and Negro Baseball League hero Buck O’Neil, who continues to be an icon in Kansas City, where he spent much of his career. Our online presentation included an interactive timeline highlighting major events of the historic community over the decades, videos, photo galleries, guest columns and more. The response was overwhelmingly favorable.
Winnepeg Free Press, Winnepeg, Manitoba
WHAT THEY DID: Our City Beautiful project tells the story of Winnipeg through the city’s iconic architecture. It is truly a multimedia project that uses all media from words to video to heritage photos to fresh photography. But what really put it over the top was video, shot from a drone, of the Golden Boy statue atop the provincial legislature building as well as overhead shots of various landmarks.
The law still dictates extremely restrictive use of drones by the media. We contracted a drone enthusiast to shoot the video for us, thus giving Winnipeg Free Press readers their first glimpse of a new angle on their city.
ONE DEATH TOO MANY
WHAT THEY DID: One Death Too Many is the story of Jay Westbrook, a hospice worker who eased the last days of thousands of people — until he sat at the deathbed of the woman he loved, and found he could do no more.
NATURE GOES VIRAL
Panama City (Fla.) News Herald
WHAT THEY DID: A a video of just-hatched baby Loggerhead sea turtles making their way over the sand to the gulf — edited to music, came together in a delightful way. The video received more than twice the reach of any other video shared by the paper that month.
FACES OF THE REGION
The Times of Northwest Indiana
WHAT THEY DID: We started a Facebook page posting a photo and short quote about a community member. We added photo galleries called Faces of the Region. The photographers go out to events and shoot huge galleries (50 or more photos typically) of locals out with their families and friends. Traffic on our galleries increased by over 500 percent in the first three months of this initiative.