2017 The David Teeuwen Student Journalism Award, Small Newsroom finalist

A Town Divided

About the Project

A Town Divided is a multimedia profile of a tiny rural town in southern Arizona that is bitterly divided over a new mining project. Half of the town supports Arizona Mining Inc., a Canadian company that bought land near the town and promises to create jobs through the new mine. The other half of the town is deeply concerned about mining’s environmental impact and is furiously fighting the mining project.

The project is based on six months of reporting spread out of three trips to Patagonia, AZ and is a single narrative. On the homepage, the user can choose to either read the text or watch the video. The two stories compliment each other, but also stand alone. Graphics and data visualization are incorporated into both stories.

The intention of the package is to create a holistic understanding of the conflict in Patagonia. I wanted to ensure the story was fairly reported and gave every side of the issue equal attention. To do this, I set up the text story as an unfolding narrative with a lot of context about the town, mining history and the company. The video let’s the user meet people on both sides of the issue and see what’s at stake for them. My goal was to evoke empathy and have the user/viewer exit the story feeling sympathetic toward both sides in the conflict.