Story: KARE photojournalist Chad Nelson and reporter Boyd Huppert win POY and ROY, again
Cover Story by Lori King
Headline: KARE's Chad Nelson Repeats as News Photographer of the Year
Partway through his tape that won him the 2018 Ernie Crisp Photographer of the Year award, Chad Nelson presents “Gnome Sweet Gnome,” a story shot and edited so masterfully that it defies a simple explanation of how he did it.
This heartwarming feature tells the tale of a Minnesota artist whose favorite “hand-painted, red-cheeked, guest-welcoming” garden gnome artwork was stolen from her front yard Christmas display 40 years ago and then discovered in 2017 outside a record shop.
The story could have been spun traditionally, with straight cuts and a single camera, but not in the magical hands of Nelson, a KARE 11 News photojournalist in Minneapolis who spent a full day shooting the video and then an additional 26 hours editing. He used sliding cameras, animation and motion tracking software and experimented with filters, color correction and pencil sketching to make some frames look like paintings.
Story: The Cincinnati Enquirer wins the Pulitzer for Local Reporting
Cover Story and Podcast of the entire interview by Lori King
Headline: The everyday horror of heroin overdoses
A heroin overdose can happen in libraries, in restaurant bathrooms and in moving cars as unconscious drivers travel on the expressway. Heroin overdoses occur in public places and private residences, sometimes in your neighborhood.
Heroin overdoses happen everywhere people are.
This is the devastating, never-ending story of heroin addiction throughout America that The Cincinnati Enquirer wanted to tell.
So during the week of July 10-16, 2017, the newspaper dispatched 60 reporters and visual journalists to document how the opioid crisis had its grip on its community.
It called the project “Seven Days of Heroin: This Is What an Epidemic Looks Like.” This year, this massive effort shedding light on the epidemic earned the staff of the Enquirer the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting.
Story: Detroit Free Press photojournalist and Flint resident Ryan Garza covers the Flint water crisis
Cover Story by Lori King
Headline: Hometown Story: Documenting the Flint Water Crisis
Rumors circulated in 2011 that leaders in Flint, Michigan, were looking at the Flint River as a potential water source.
Growing up in the city, Ryan Garza knew what had gone into that river, and it frightened him that people were considering it for drinking.
“Thoughts of that being a reality didn’t sit well with people, including myself,” said Garza, then a photojournalist with the Flint Journal.
By the time the contaminated river water was flowing through the city’s corroding copper pipes, Garza had left the Flint Journal and was working at the Detroit Free Press. But because he still lived in Flint, commuting over 50 miles to work each way, he was living the nightmare that was making national news.
Only when enough science supported the mounting claims of lead and trihalomethanes (TTHM) poisoning, as well as Legionnaires’ disease, did Garza pitch his idea to Free Press editors to cover the water crisis from his own backyard. Photo/video director Kathy Kieliszewski understood the astounding impact the Flint water crisis was having on the community and on her own photographer, so she backed Garza’s request to immerse himself into the story.
Story: Detroit Free Press photojournalists make documentaries for the FREEP Film Festival
Story by Lori King
Headline: Making Films in Detroit
Her Sony HVR camera stood on a tripod in the center of the room as Detroit Free Press photojournalist Mandi Wright prepared to cover a news conference. A lesbian couple from Hazel Park, Michigan, were announcing that they were filing a federal lawsuit to overturn a state law that prevented them from mutually adopting their five children.
Wright and Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter were the only media there. So they covered the news conference, and Wright recorded an emotional video of April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse explaining their case and their family.
That video in 2012 began a long-term project that became “Accidental Activists,” a 79-minute documentary that captures the drama of a single court case that challenged and defeated all gay marriage bans in America. In June 2015, the Supreme Court struck down such bans, allowing same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
The movie is both polished and gritty and mostly a mixture of DSLR and iPhone stills and video footage. It shows what still photographers can do when they have a solid story and the support of an editor who encourages strong visual storytelling.