Teaching Examples


Multimedia: Lives of New Orleans teens after Katrina
December 1, 2006, 3:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m very surprised that this story has not received much attention from the online journalism community.

Yearbook 2006

Last January, three journalists went to Louisiana to report on the interrupted lives of seniors who had attended Benjamin Franklin High School. Josh Goldblum (founder of bluecadet interactive, based in Washington, D.C.) and independent photojournalists Josh Cogan and David Lee had made contact with the school principal, Carol Christen, who embraced their project idea.

The project, Yearbook 2006 — produced independently — includes multiple short video clips with each of the students, a map of where each student lived in New Orleans, a map of places to which each student evacuated, and an interesting interactive timeline. It is, in fact, gigantic. But it doesn’t overwhelm the visitor, because it’s organized well.

Each of the 31 students has his or her own page

Each student was interviewed on video

Maps show each student's journey of dislocation and relocation

I got the story via an e-mail exchange in October with Rich Nyman, now the director of business development at bluecadet.

Several things about this package impressed me, but a big one is how they got it done. The team was not affiliated with any news organization; they did get a grant from the Gallup Organization (through contacts made by Lee, according to Nyman).

“The funds received covered about a third of our costs. The remainder of the project was built off of labors of love from the photographers and bluecadet, along with a slew of contractors including video editors and web designers willing to work and very reduced rates in light of the cause,” Nyman wrote.

Map shows where each student lived

Each neighborhood on the map has a profile

Timeline in Yearbook 2006

The team visited New Orleans several times to document key events such as the prom and graduation. “Our goal was to launch the site live at the school on August 29 at 10:17 a.m., the anniversary of Katrina and the time that was frozen on the wall clocks after the storm,” Nyman said.

The journalists met their deadline.

On May 22, 2006, the Benjamin Franklin High School Class of ’06 had their graduation ceremony. In New Orleans.

Class of '06

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