2014 Feature, Small Newsroom winner

The Good Life: The Movement that Changed Maine


BDN Maine

Feature, Small Newsroom


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About the Project

“The Good Life, The Movement That Changed Maine” is a unique digital project that brought together the imagination and talents of our small newsroom staff, who worked well over a year researching, writing and shooting the stills and video that comprised the core of the presentation.

The team of that built “The Good Life” planned and executed this project for the digital audience. We brought together interviews from across the decades, by unearthing a long forgotten documentary and re-interviewing its protagonist. And as the only news outlet in New England, perhaps North America, with a professional “banjournalist” on its staff, we employed his talents to create an original music for the project that lent a soulful soundtrack to the top-notch reporting, writing and visuals.

The judges should be aware that we’re a relatively small newspaper in Maine, but one with ambitions, and we wanted to tell a big story about our state in a way that engaged readers online. We didn’t want to run one big 200-inch newspaper feature and walk away. We wanted to create a multi-dimensional experience that included the past, present and future, in an immersion of stills, video, text and sound.

Most of all, we wanted to make it consumable. We used Netflix thinking in launching the project, offering the audience the chance to read it all on the first day (House of Cards ) and then highlighted the five chapters during the course of a week. (Orange is the New Black.)

The response, for us, was amazing. So far, 20,000 people have read “The Good Life,” and we’ve been encouraged to re-publish the content as an e-book.

For the technical details of how we built The Good Life, please visit our dev blog