In my many years at The Providence Journal, there have been few public-service efforts that rival the year-long examination of the struggling Rhode Island economy in our 2012 Reinvent Rhode Island series.
This Sunday's installment, "How We See Ourselves," an examination of the effect of self-image on economic performance, includes a main story, a sidebar, a column, a video, photographs, online polls and interactive graphics, readers' responses, and a truly awesome front-page design and layout. Working for most of the week, more than a dozen staffers collaborated in putting it all together.
I wrote the main story and the sidebar. Karen Bordeleau, deputy executive editor, and John Kostrzewa, assistant managing editor for business, commerce & consumer, spearheaded the effort. John also wrote the column. Tom Murphy created the awesome front-page graphic; Michael Lenahan, with an assist from Lisa Newby, laid that and the two inside pages out. Their boss, visuals editor Mike Delaney, had overall management of the imagery. Mike also oversaw John Freidah, who photographed and shot the video, with sound assistance from Steve Szydlowski. Cile Prestamo edited the video. Paul Parker, master of data, created the cool interactive graphics. Peter Phipps and Maria Caporizzo handled the polls and online design/layout. I can tell you that as deadlines approached on Friday, it was a very busy day in the newsroom. And it all went down with the usual cooperation and creative excitement...
Off this week, but an integral part of early installments in the Reinvent Rhode Island series, which launched in March, were Kate Bramson, Paul Grimaldi and Paul Davis. They'll be back shortly. And other staff members, not "officially" a part of the team, will be contributing as well.
I cannot even guess the hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries and expenses that The Journal will have invested when the series concludes at the end of the year. I believe they call this putting your money where your mouth is.