For the fourth consecutive summer, I am part of the Powering A Nation project at UNC-Chapel Hill. My role is editing coach, helping with anything to do with words. The project, part of the News21 initiative, gives students a chance to experiment with storytelling techniques.
In an approach similar to last year’s focus on coal, the student team this year chose water as its theme of the site, called 100 Gallons. Unlike last year, however, this iteration of the project returns traditional story text to a prominent role.
100 Gallons also has alternative story forms, interactive graphics and video. One challenge for the editing team was to write dozens of captions that pop up when the viewer pauses the video that serves as the hub for the presentation.
As in past years, I enjoyed the chance to work with talented, passionate students. I am proud and grateful to be a part of the Powering A Nation effort, and I’m happy that words, in display text or story text, are still essential to journalism.