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Powering a Nation: Coal – A Love Story

A multimedia experiment in journalistic storytelling best experienced as an interactive film.

“We’re in a love affair with coal right now because of the way we live. It’s a twisted love affair: we depend on it for everything that we do, but at the same time it’s killing is.”

One of the interviewees expresses precisely the central point of the multimedia report Coal – A Love Story, made as part of the “Powering a Nation” project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Within the context of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education, the students here are looking for a shift away from traditional journalism.

Coal – A Love Story is an extensively researched investigation of the ways in which coal, responsible for more than 45% of U.S. energy production, affects the daily lives of various people. A miner talks about the explosion that he narrowly escaped but that killed several of his coworkers. A young blond who won the “Miss Coal” pageant defends the energy source at all costs. And a teenager named Luis protests against the coal plant that borders his neighborhood: “If teens can do it, then the adults can do it.” The collection of videos, infographics and interactive elements form a running story, but the various elements can also be watched separately.

 

Project details

Year of development :2011
Created by:The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
With:News21
Full project credits

Available formats