Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Will it be two in a row for the Rocky Mountain News?

After winning a Pulitzer prize in 2006 for Final Salute, a brilliant piece that chronicles the travels of Maj. Steve Beck as he travels from family to family informing them that their loved one isn't coming home from the battle on the other side of the world, the Colorado paper looks poised to do it again.

Final Salute put to print an unknown. It was a side of the operations in the Middle East that we had seldom seen to that point, our government was very careful up to this point in keeping images of dead American soldiers out of the frame of a photographer's camera.

This year The Rocky Mountain News is working on another very ambitious and meticulously crafted piece that also hopes to shine light were no one has looked before, and they're doing it with a human touch.

"The Crossing" reflects on a school bus accident that took the lives of 20 children and left 16 others and their bus driver to live on in their absence.

Some cope better than others and a community responds, but the beauty of The Crossing is that it isn't about the accident or about the tragedy, it's about the lives that came from that mutual experience and the people they became. And at 33 chapters, number 20 just went live as I write this, it's multifaceted in a way that is necessary to take such a piece beyond informative to influential.

It's worth a look, and the presentation and in particular the use of audio is an a prime of example of how it can and should be done better.

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