Just Good Storytelling #1

Over the past couple months, I've started to listen to podcasts when I'm at the gym. I found that although storytelling doesn't necessarily pump you up to exercise, it has given me an undisturbed hour or so of time to really immerse myself in radio. Although late to the game, I've become a big fan of This American LifeRadiolab, and most recently, The Moth, based out of New York City. It got me thinking, why not start compiling a list of really great storytelling that's not just confined my realm of video and photography. So over the past few weeks I've compiled a list of just really great stories that I've come across in various mediums from a variety of publications. 

This is just the beginning of what I hope to be a continuing series of "Just Good Storytelling." 


Starting at the New York Times comes a fantastic short video and photo essay from Josh Haner, Cath Spangler, and Tim Rohan. "Beyond the Finish Line" features Jeff Bauman's story of survival and recovery after losing both of his legs to the explosions that rocked Boston earlier this April during the Boston Marathon. 

Additionally, the New York Times surprised me with an interactive project, similar in format to the infamous "Snowfall" from 2012 that left our industry drooling. From Barry Bearak and Chang W. Lee comes "The Jockey," a story about Russell Baze, "the winningest jockey in American history." Incredible, truly multi-media storytelling.

Speaking of interactives, National Geographic magazine released "The Serengeti Lion," a multimedia package to accompany the August 2013 article, "The Short Happy Life of a Serengeti Lion" by David Quammen and photographer, Michael Nichols. The stark black and white images from the article are an intimate look into this species' life, which is augmented by an immersive experience online through the seemingly iPad inspired platform. Included in the project is testimony and images from photographer Brent Stirton to accompany his sidebar story, "Living with Lions." Really powerful stuff and so interesting to see how NG has fused the two platforms. It's like you're actually there.

Next up are cable cars in Chiatura, Georgia. Photographer Amos Chapelle tells us a story of a town caught in a network of criss-crossing cables of its mining past during the soviet era. Featured in the Atlantic, this story reminded me so much of a place I've always dreamed of visiting. I've had somewhat of an obsessive fascination with post-Soviet Russia since the first time I'd ever seen "Satellites," a project by Magnum photographer, Jonas Bendicksen. Chapelle's essay from Georgia is beautiful and very unexpected.  

Finally, I leave you with a story from This American Life, "Episode #502: This Call May Be Recorded." I am telling you. If there is one of these recommendations that you should actually listen to, then this is the one. This story from Ira Glass will rock your world. I literally had to stop exercising at the gym for the last 15 minutes of the story for fear of hurting myself because I was so immersed in the story. The synopsis from This American Life goes,

"A journalist named Meron Estefanos gets a disturbing tip. She's given a phone number that supposedly belongs to a group of refugees being held hostage in the Sinai desert. She dials the number, and soon dozens of strangers are begging her to rescue them. How can she ignore them?"

Seriously. How could you not be listening already? Stop reading this dumb blog post and listen now!  

Thanks for reading!