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Posts Tagged ‘national geographic’

National Geographic’s Aaron Huey on Digital Collaboration and Community Storytelling

The latest cover of National Geographic features the story of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to the Oglala Lakota. Alexandra Fuller’s well-written piece of long form journalism plus Aaron Huey’s series of striking photographs is standard fare in the magazine by now, but this cover story included a new form of storytelling. Huey, who has spent the past seven years documenting and befriending the Lakota teamed up with Jonathan Harris, creator of Cowbird, to launch the Pine Ridge Community Storytelling Project. Cowbird is a storytelling platform focused on personal narratives rather than quick status updates, and the collaboration is an attempt to give the people of Pine Ridge a chance to tell their own stories. Users can use photos, audio and text on one seamless platform that attempts to build a library of human experiences.

Huey talked to 10,000 Words about the collaboration, which was made possible in part by the Knight Journalism Fellowship and the John and James L. Knight Foundation. He first started covering the community when he was doing a larger survey on poverty—Pine Ridge was one of the poorest counties in the nation. Though he didn’t know much about the history of the reservation at the time, he quickly became drawn into its story and evolution, eventually becoming an advocate for the community. Read more

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MATTER: Returning to Long-Form Journalism

Earlier this month, I talked about three enterprising Kickstarter campaignsOuter Voices Podcast, Radio Ambulante, and The Independent Voice Project. Recently, another great journalism-focused project has started making news, and it’s called MATTER.

MATTER is the brain child of Jim Giles and Bobbie Johnson, two experienced reporters with a passion for making journalism better. Giles and Johnson have lined up a team of writers and editors to help push this vision forward, and according to the Kickstarter project page, MATTER will be for readers, not advertisers.

MATTER logo

The “return to long-form journalism” is a phrase that has been bandied about for a few years now, and several websites currently exist around this premise (Longreads, The Atavist, Byliner, Longform, etc.) MATTER won’t be a curation service; rather, it will include original investigative reporting from their team of writers, some of which have contributed to publications such as The New YorkerThe Atlantic, The Economist, The Guardian, The New York Times, National Geographic, Nature and Wired.

“The thing about long-form, in-depth journalism is that it’s expensive. There used to be many more newspapers and magazines that produced that sort of content, but journalism is in financial trouble and those outlets have cut back,” said Giles.

The Kickstarter campaign will help raise funds for MATTER to produce their first three pieces. By pledging at the $25 level, you can join their editorial board (powered by All Our Ideas) and lend your voice to the kind of reporting MATTER covers.

As of this article, the project is over 60% funded, but you can pledge until the campaign ends on March 24, 2012. For more information about MATTER, you can visit their website at readmatter.com. You can also follow the progress of MATTER on Facebook and Twitter.