“Battling Meth: A Mother’s Road to Recovery” is an in-depth, profile of Lindsay Curio, documenting her struggles with motherhood and her meth addiction. The five-member Kennesaw State University student team via enterprise reporting and empathy got incredible access to Curio and her entire family, taking us into their home and into their lives. Their in-depth reporting focused on Curio, but it is really a story of drug addiction and recovery, generational poverty, rape, the justice system and the avenues to recovery including family drug court, familial support and the love of a third child, who now is an integral part of her life after she abandoned two previous children while deep in the throes of her addiction. To the students’ credit they neither demonized Curio nor glorified her, rather, via excellent research, interviewing, writing, video and photographic shooting and editing, they reveal her as a complete human being with all her strengths and weaknesses.
This transmedia package seamlessly integrates text, video, audio and intimate photography. It was published during the fall semester of the 2013 academic year and distributed nationally in the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) Digital Magazine, published by the Center for Sustainable Journalism (CSJ). The CSJ is a nonprofit journalism center at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia covering juvenile justice and child welfare. The JJIE audience is comprised of juvenile justice policymakers and practitioners.
In the spirit of The New York Times groundbreaking transmedia package The Jockey, this package was designed for the text to move to the video and photographs and then back to the text. As a seamless body of work, it is best read as a whole rather than separating the text from the video and photos.
The package tells of Curio’s first drug usage, an early rape, the loss of her first two children, her sister’s own struggles, her recovery and the anguish her parents felt, while never giving up on her.
In the best tradition of journalism, the students spent their time in the field and in Curio’s own environment. The audience hears her mother saying, “I didn’t think she’d be here today…especially towards the end.” These are powerful words that make an even more powerful impact as they are documented here. In every sense this is student journalism at its best.