The Northerner multimedia project nominated for national award

A Northerner story produced by a team that included a journalist, web developer, graphic designer, photographer and videographer has earned national recognition.

The story, ““The underground world of NKU recycling”,  is one of three national finalists in the College Media Association Pinnacle Award in the category of Best Multimedia News Story.

“This recognition is a real testament to the success that innovative thinking and trans disciplinary collaboration can bring about,” said Kevin Schultz, who wrote and reported the story published on on March 26, 2014.

The project, which combined in-depth reporting and narrative writing with video, interactive quizzes, charts and infographics, was one of three multimedia projects that The Northerner’s 11-person web team produced in Spring 2014.

Team members divided up to collaborate on different projects. The recycling project team members included Schultz, lead reporter; James Lloyd, web developer; Robert Huelsman, video; Kody Kahle, photographer and Mosef Asad, graphic designer.

“I was nervous at first when we put the team together, but taking a chance can really pay off,” Schultz said. “It turned out that the ability to communicate and work together was just as much of an important product as the project itself.”
Robert Huelsman, the project’s videographer, agrees and said one of the best parts of the project was bringing everyone together to work toward one common goal.

“It was cool working with people from media informatics and web and journalism and me being an EMB student — bringing pretty much everybody in Griffin Hall together,” Huelsman said. “News coverage is a little different from narrative production. But in the end it’s trying to tell a story — visually and through what people are saying.”

Michele Day, The Northerner faculty adviser, said the entire team deserves recognition for both experimenting with innovative forms of storytelling and digging into a significant issue.

“It was the techie stuff, the in-depth reporting and everything coming together,” she said.

Schultz spent eight weeks reporting the story, which took Northerner readers behind-the-scenes of the campus recycling process and documented the strengths and weaknesses of efforts to make the campus more green. “I had pages and pages of records to go through,” he said referring to the different documents on recycling policy and recyclable materials data he dug up.

But the highlight of the experience was a 5 a.m. venture through the tunnels where NKU’s recycling center is located.
“We were all really tired and cold, and we were in this dark underground area. But then out walks Chris [the man shadowed for the narrative] and he was smiling, full of energy. He started talking about his life then he led us into this big room full of lights, machines and people and it’s like all of a sudden we woke up a bit because we realized there was this whole other world below us on campus that no one really gets to see,” Schultz said. “And I guess we sort of realized how neat it was to be able to be the ones to show that world to people through all these different immersive mediums of storytelling.”

Winners of the 2014 College Media Association Pinnacle Awards will be announced at #collegemedia14, the National College Media Convention, Oct. 29-Nov. 2 in Philadelphia.