Death is always a difficult topic to approach, both in journalism and everyday life. That’s why Dai Sugano and Lisa Krieger’s ongoing Cost of Dying series at the San Jose Mercury News is such an impressive work of journalism, and more than worthy of a DFMie.
During a six-month investigation of a proposed $123 million seawater desalination facility in Santa Cruz, Sentinel staff writer J.M. Brown interviewed more than 60 water officials, scientists, utility customers and others to provide a deep look inside the financial, environmental and political implications of the city’s plan.
The amount of time Brown spent learning about the issue was readily evident throughout the package; it was clear the journalism was produced from a position of knowledge and authority. Complimented by a four-part video series and a live chat, Brown’s coverage was accessible to readers with varying amounts of background knowledge, as he also produced an easy-to-read ‘What we found’ breakout feature to accompany the package.
Thunderdome’s video editor Yvonne Leow took some time this month to ask our colleagues what their definitions of Thunderdome were. The answers ranged from serious to silly, but there was a common thread throughout them all — excitement. Despite the challenges that are no doubt ahead, all of us at Thunderdome are excited about the possibility of empowering Digital First Media’s local newsrooms. Check out the video below the fold.