• Spencer Norris

Gun violence, missing persons and other bug-outs

This week we went out and covered gun violence in the Columbia area as a team. There's been a recent spike in homicides that we're trying to piece together using a combination of data, human narrative and police communications. We're accomplishing this by going door to door, calling PIOs, attending press conferences, compiling old reporting and creating simply fantastic infographics that I think help address the narrative in a way that words couldn't alone.

This is running in parallel to my ongoing story on missing persons, which is a bit bogged down at the moment. I need to find a human I can place at the center of the story, pronto. The thing is going to be shot to hell if there's no narrative vein that runs through it, and as it stands, there's just a pile of numbers with no heart in it.

I'm very proud of the work we've done on the shootings, but we also have to get readership up on these stories. Our centerpiece on Tuesday was the best thing I've worked on to date, but readership was depressed relative to some of our other content. I'm not going to speculate on why that is, I'll leave that to our analytics to figure out. In any event, it'd be great to get our best work in front of an audience and to inform them of a very real problem in their community.

Godspeed, as always.

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