Wick Communications

Telling stories on Facebook

In Online media on August 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I think I’ve mentioned before that former Half Moon Bay Review reporter Nick Casey is currently employed by the Wall Street Journal and stationed in the newspaper’s Mexico City bureau. Consequently, he’s been reporting on some gruesome things of late.

This week, he posted a really arresting photo album on his personal Facebook page. It is a collection of 34 black-and-white photos he took in Acapulco while traveling through the city with another journalist. Each one is captioned and, taken together, the stark photos and Nick’s words tell a terrible story.

  • “Children in Acapulco don’t grow up without seeing the dead,” reads one caption.
  •  “In three dog-food bags were the bodies of three men, chopped up and thrown on the city’s main overpass with a message from a gang,” reads another that is embedded in a terrifying photo.
  •  “This boy was killed after gunmen came onto a public bus and shot him,” reads another.

Some of the photos are not suitable for a general audience. Then again, it’s only through reporting like this that the rest of us understand the true nature of the problem that concerns us all. …

The album is intended for Nick’s 700-plus Facebook friends so I can’t really share it. He said I could post a photo here and talk about it. He says the trip through that hellish place is part of an effort by the newspaper to get beyond the tally of the dead and report on who these people were in life. Humanizing the characters in your story is always a good idea.

It occurred to me that creating an album like that is a good way to share your work and generate interest in your reporting. That is just as true for the high school football game as it is for drug violence in Mexico.

Later on Friday, Nick shared with me this link that allows you to view the photos without “friending.”

Clay

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