2018 The David Teeuwen Student Journalism Award, Large Newsroom winner


About the Project

Our goal in producing Aftermath is to share the voices of Puerto Ricans living in the wake of Hurricanes Maria and Irma. We hope the stories of how they are coping and rebuilding can serve as lessons for future natural disasters, especially as we are now on the cusp of another hurricane season.

We also wish to inform our audience about Puerto Rico’s recovery and encourage more people to get involved and join the conversation.

This interactive multimedia experience is divided into 5 stories that focus on water, power, health, ecology, and pollution. Each story contains a long form written piece, a 4-7 minute documentary video, photo gallery, graphics, and 360 video and drone footage. We have translations in both English and Spanish.

We promoted our work through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and held an on-campus screening to a crowd of 250 community members and supporters. We learned to track the analytics and broaden our reach as much as possible.

Aftermath was a collaborative effort involving videographers and photographers, web designers and developers, reporters, all taking a 3 credit class for credit at the UNC School of Media and Journalism. Two faculty members led the effort with 3 additional part-time coaches. Together we traveled to San Juan for 9 days and gathered content and media.

We also collaborated with students from the University of Puerto Rico who provided translation help, transportation, and cultural guidance.

Although this was produced as a stand-alone piece, we are hoping to get parts or all of it published in other publications such as the Huffington Post.

As students, we are learning the rewards and challenges of reporting on different cultures; as journalists, we are working as a team to tell the stories that are shaping the globe.