In her book The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts, Laura Tillman examines the lasting effects of a deeply troubling crime—the brutal murder of three young children by their parents in the border city of Brownsville, Texas. Over six years, Tillman surveyed those surrounding the crimes, speaking with the lawyers who tried the case, the family’s neighbors, relatives and teachers, as well as one of the murderers: John Allen Rubio, whom she corresponded with for years. Over the course of their correspondence, Tillman wrestled with a series of tough questions: In the pursuit of a story, what constitutes manipulation? Is some degree of manipulation in this context inevitable? Is it wrong for a murderer to be gratified by the result?
Resources for Featured Articles
The Ochberg Fellowship, now in its 18th year, is the Dart Center's flagship program for veteran and mid-career journalists who wish to deepen their knowledge of emotional trauma and psychological injury, and improve reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy. The application deadline is September 30, 2016. Click here to apply.
Freelance foreign correspondent Alex Duval-Smith, Knight International Journalism Fellow Javier Garza, Radio France International reporter and producer Imogen Lamb, Reveal investigative reporter Aaron Glantz and ABC foreign correspondent Sally Sara share their experiences as Dart Center Ochberg Fellows. Click here to apply now!
Robert Nickelsberg has been photographing in Afghanistan since 1988. When he returned to Kabul this fall, he thought of a new way to cover the complexity of the conflict, focusing on those left behind: war widows. “This is really what all those deaths add up to,” he said. “The challenge for a country to take care of its people.” A Dart Center Q&A.
One year after a pair of powerful earthquakes shook Nepal, resulting in the deaths of more than 8,000 people, Ochberg Fellow and Dart Asia Pacific Regional Facilitator Amantha Perera writes about the challenges of covering this tragedy and its aftermath, featuring lessons learned from Nepali journalists Sudarshan Khatiwada, Makar Shrestha and Sangita Shrestha. With reporting by Deepak Adhikari in Kathmandu.
This searing, intimate feature tells the story of Cheyeanne Fitzgerald, the youngest survivor of the Umpqua Community College shooting in Roseburg Oregon, as she struggles against myriad challenges in the massacre’s aftermath. Judges described “A Survivor’s Story” as an “eye-opening,” “brutally honest" portrait of the intense difficulties and complexities of trauma and recovery. Originally published in the Washington Post in December, 2015.
Clemantine Wamariya, who at age six fled the Rwandan genocide with her sister, spent seven years wandering central Africa as a refugee, eventually coming to the United States and succeeding by every conventional marker. Judges called the piece “clear-eyed,” “tremendously insightful,” and “gracefully and honestly told.” Originally published by Matter in June, 2015.
This comprehensive, interactive multimedia series in Spanish and English tells the stories of those in and around Iguala, Mexico, who had lost family members to kidnappings and killings, living in a purgatory of silence for years, and their quest for answers and justice. Judges described “The Other Disappeared” as a “tour de force,” reported with “incredible depth, rigor and compassion." Originally published by The Associated Press between September - December, 2015.