Magazine article Editor & Publisher

The Ferguson Project: St. Louis Post-Dispatch Launches "Ferguson," a Collection of Nearly Six Months of Reporting on the Shooting of 18-Year-Old Michael Brown

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

The Ferguson Project: St. Louis Post-Dispatch Launches "Ferguson," a Collection of Nearly Six Months of Reporting on the Shooting of 18-Year-Old Michael Brown

Article excerpt

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From the front lines, the St Louis Post-Dispatch reported day and night on the eruption of civil unrest in Ferguson, Mo. that began in August 2014. The protests followed the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer. After a no indictment verdict came back for Wilson, Ferguson residents and people around the nation began protesting both peacefully and violently against the decision.

Faced with the daunting task of compiling every photo, story and video from the nation-wide news story, the Post-Dispatch launched "Ferguson." The online project (graphics.stltoday.com/ferguson) is a collection of nearly six months of reporting, including more than 600 stories, 14 videos, and hundreds of photos, all produced by the Post-Dispatch staff, for readers to better navigate and understand the timeline, severity and impact of what happened in Ferguson.

"I think (the site) reminds us all of the profound impact these events had--and continue to have--on our community. It's a resource for people who want to learn more, and for people who worry about similar issues in their own communities," said managing editor Jean Buchanan.

She said that while the story was unfolding the Post-Dispatch's website was "overwhelming to look at, and it was difficult to figure out what to read to get a good sense of the events."

At the height of the protests, the Post-Dispatch had eight photographers working around the clock, said Lynden Steele, director of photography.

Flooded with stories, images and video from the events, Buchanan said it wasn't until months later that they were able to organize the content.

"We started talking a few months in about a better way to curate the material, but we were still so slammed, we didn't have time to act. …

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