Slavery’s last stronghold | CNN | March 2012 | online magazine story and documentary
Nouakchott, Mauritania (CNN) — Moulkheir Mint Yarba returned from a day of tending her master’s goats out on the Sahara Desert to find something unimaginable.
Role: Pitched, reported and wrote the text story; helped develop layout concept; co-wrote and voiced the documentary script; appeared on TV to promote the story.
Nieman Storyboard: “Altogether, as a model of multimedia narrative journalism, it’s hard to do better than this.” Poynter: “Part of what makes ‘Slavery’s Last Stronghold’ so good is that the photos and text work well together, and the writing is strong.”
A Walk in Our Shoes | CNN iReport | 2010 | collaborative art project
CNN.com asked readers to film 1-minute videos of their favorite places to walk on the first day of spring in 2010. We took the submissions and created a story and video piece. All of the videos were posted online and tagged in a public database. Some CNN.com users downloaded videos and created their own mash-ups.
Role: Helped generated the idea; co-managed of the project; writer.
In Norway, prison isn’t meant to punish | CNN | May 2012
Bastoy, Norway (CNN) — Jan Petter Vala, who is serving a prison sentence for murder, has hands the size of dinner plates and shoulders like those of an ox. In an alcoholic rage, he used his brutish strength to strangle his girlfriend to death a few years ago.
Welcome to the era of ‘extreme energy’ | CNN | April 2011
Fort McKay, Alberta (CNN) – Celina Harpe was 7 when her grandfather made a prediction that would forever change her life.
Climate change threatens Shishmaref, Alaska | CNN | December 2009
Shishmaref, Alaska (CNN) — When the arctic winds howl and angry waves pummel the shore of this Inupiat Eskimo village, Shelton and Clara Kokeok fear that their house, already at the edge of the Earth, finally may plunge into the gray sea below.
Plato: Town at the center of America | CNN | May 19, 2011
Plato, Missouri (CNN) — If you stand at the intersection of two wooded cattle trails on Bob Hartzog’s land, beneath a particular cedar tree with a handkerchief and three pieces of orange plastic tied to it, you’ll find the unexpected “population center” of the United States of America, marked with a pile of stones.
The Gulf’s silent environmental crisis | CNN | May 2010
On the Gulf of Mexico (CNN) — Ten miles off the coast of Louisiana, where the air tastes like gasoline and the ocean looks like brownie batter, Louisiana State University professor Ed Overton leans out of a fishing boat and dunks a small jar beneath the surface of the oil-covered water. “God, what a mess,” he says under his breath, scooping up a canister of the oil that’s been spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.
When did Facebook get so uncool? | CNN | April 2012
(CNN) — Something strange happened Monday on the Internet. Facebook — the once-underdog social network founded by a kid in a hoodie in a dorm room — may have officially cemented its status as a titan of the tech establishment it once challenged.
How the Gulf became the nation’s ‘toilet bowl’ | CNN | July 2010
Pointe-Aux-Chenes, Louisiana (CNN) — When Nazia Dardar looks at the seemingly endless lake of water behind her stilted bayou home, the 76-year-old sees what once was a farm. Cows roamed there, she says, back when the lake was land.
Why drilling in ‘inner space’ tests human limits | CNN | July 2010
Morgan City, Louisiana (CNN) — Behind each video feed of oil billowing out of the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico is a robot about the size of a minibus built at an industrial center in this Louisiana oil town.
With Foursquare’s founder, life’s a game | CNN | June 4, 2010
New York (CNN) — Dennis Crowley was jogging across a New York bridge when he spotted something exciting: a cartoon mushroom, spray-painted on the sidewalk.
It looked like something out of Nintendo’s “Super Mario Bros.,” which Crowley grew up playing. He stomped on the mushroom as he ran by and had a sort of nerdy realization.
“I was like, s—!” he recalled. ” ‘I should get a power-up for that!’ “
The genius brothers behind Google Wave | CNN | October 27, 2010
(CNN) — Lars and Jens Rasmussen were broke and jobless — with only $16 between them — when they made it big in the Web world by selling their idea for Google Maps.
DEF CON: The event that scares hackers | CNN | August 6, 2011
Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) — In the Masquerade wing of the Rio Hotel and Casino in the gambling capital of the world, there’s a giant statue of a head hanging over a lobby of slot machines.
Tucson battles ‘Wild West’ image after shooting | CNN | January 13, 2011
Tucson, Arizona (CNN) — Curtis Acosta’s class on Latino literature opened on Monday with a poem:
“You are my other me,” the high school students said in unison, reciting the words in Spanish and English. “If I do harm to you, I do harm to myself. If I love and respect you, I love and respect myself.”
Minnesota farmer battles Gulf ‘dead zone’ | CNN | August 30, 2010
Windom, Minnesota (CNN) — Within moments of meeting Tony Thompson, you can tell he sees the world from a different tilt. His frayed shirt pocket is stuffed so full of notes that it’s ripping at the seams. Hairy eyebrows spring off his face like grasshopper antennae. There’s a purple prairie clover stuck in the dash of his van, a bird book below the radio.
Defender of the deep: Oil’s not gone | CNN | August 24, 2010
Athens, Georgia (CNN) — Samantha Joye’s office is littered with otherworldly artifacts from the deep ocean: a mussel the size of a football; a vase filled with tube worms, which look like grissini breadsticks; a photo of the world’s biggest bacteria.
Last man standing at the wake for a toxic town | CNN | June 30, 2009
PICHER, Oklahoma (CNN) — Wearing powder blue pants and a plaid fedora, 84-year-old Orval “Hoppy” Ray arrived fashionably late to a celebration in Picher, Oklahoma, a vacated mining town at the center of one of the nation’s largest and most polluted toxic-waste sites.
Twilight at Tar Creek | The Oklahoman | October 15, 2006
It’s Monday night at the Pastime Miner’s Museum in the dying town of Picher, located in far northeastern Oklahoma, two miles from the Kansas border and beyond the reach of cell phone coverage. The federal government is paying people to leave this former zinc and lead mining town, which is considered one of the worst environmental and health disasters in the nation by most everyone but Hoppy. Hoppy says he will die before he leaves his hometown – even if his electricity and water are turned off.
Picher girl is still a Gorilla | The Oklahoman | August 20, 2006
PICHER – Driving her father’s mid-90s Ford Thunderbird to the first day of her senior year, Tracy Carder, 17, anxiously flipped between radio stations and wondered whether she could find any normalcy in what may be the last year of her school and her hometown.
‘After this, I don’t know … I don’t know’ | NewsOK.com | May 13, 2008
PICHER — Bruised and battered, with her feet bandaged like cocoons and her ankles looking like they’d been splattered with ink, Kim Johnson returned Monday to her home in Picher for the first time since tornadoes tore through her town.
Growing excitement, expectations for green jobs corps | CNN | February 27, 2009
(CNN) — When Rita Bryer sees 300-foot-tall wind turbines sprouting up from the prairie near her home in western Oklahoma, she can’t help but wonder about the view from the top, where blades the size of semi-trucks spin.
Can world’s largest laser zap Earth’s energy woes? | CNN | April 28, 2010
Livermore, California (CNN) — Scientists at a government lab here are trying to use the world’s largest laser — it’s the size of three football fields — to set off a nuclear reaction so intense that it will make a star bloom on the surface of the Earth.
USB inventor is unlikely tech ‘rockstar’ | CNN | February 4, 2010
(CNN) — If you believe the ads, Ajay Bhatt is tech’s version of an arrogant rock star.
The co-inventor of USB — the near-ubiquitous technology that connects computers to cameras and other gadgets — strolls into an office looking nerd-confident in a sweater vest, tie and a puffed-up, game-show-host haircut in a TV commercial for Intel.
Extra innings | poynter.org | June 20, 2005
Before stepping up to bat, players in St. Petersburg’s 75-and-older softball league usually stop by the chainlink fence.
“You gonna hit me a home run today?” Kenny Marsh, 87, asks one of the players. He peers through the links from his usual stakeout, a lawn chair in the shadows.