Shining a light on an untold crisis
A superb piece of storytelling — from field reporting by Will Fitzgibbon and Eleanor Bell — to development and execution by Chris Zubak-Skees on Kimberley Porteous’ digital team — is having great impact on our sites and across our partners and the industry.
“Fatal Extraction” the catchily named and compelling story of the troubling legacy of Australian, not Chinese, mining investment in several African countries, looks like it will be our most-read story from the Center and ICIJ team this year. It also marks an important step in our innovation on storytelling methods and bringing together the capabilities of the ICIJ network and Public Integrity. There are some important lessons in it for ways to tell longer stories: long-form journalism by other means. More pieces in the series here.
Please try the new format and we would welcome your feedback.
A lot comes together in this piece.
Will was a Graeme Wood fellow, supported by our former board member and Australian activist investor.
Eleanor is an award-winning video journalist and this is a good example of our video strategy of focusing on set pieces which bring stories to life and allow the voices of the characters to tell their own stories in a way we know people like to consume.
Kimberley, our chief digital officer, has personally steered the entire project through production, categorizing it as our first “6” in the Richter-like scale she has coined for projects of high complexity. Hamish Boland-Rudder delivered the ICIJ package online, intern Suzy Gashi did heavy-lifting on graphics and video. Cecile Schillis-Gallego, shortly to move to Paris for the ICIJ, did the data work and editor Martha Hamilton was also the story editor. It couldn’t have happened without fact checking leader Peter Smith and our lawyer Mike Rothberg.
The ICIJ, led by Gerard Ryle, has 13 partners in Africa publishing the story which stands to be a great way to break in to that market and expand our engagement with journalists and audiences there.