Slavery’s last stronghold

CNN
Published March 2012

Nominee, News and Documentary Emmy Award, 2013
New Approaches: Documentaries

Amnesty International Media Award, 2013
Gaby Rado Memorial Award

Livingston Award for Young Journalists, 2013
International Reporting

EPPY Award, Editor and Publisher, 2013
Award for Enterprise / Investigative Video

Foreign Press Association award, 2013
Print and Web Feature

IRE Award - Multiplatform story, 2013
Investigative Reporters and Editors

NAMIC Vision Award, 2013
National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications
Digital Media Web Series

Online News Association award, 2012
Feature story

Photos from this story were used in the U.S. Department of State's Trafficking in Persons Report

View the full story →

Reporter John Sutter and I traveled to Mauritania for 10 days to report on the last country in the world to abolish slavery. The story took almost a year of pre-production. The story, video and full presentation came together in about three months, between other work.

Read the full story: Slavery’s last stronghold

John and I were very hands on with designing the story layout, which would become the template for CNN Digital long form storytelling.

We also produced a story and video about a woman who escaped slavery and now lives in Ohio. As well as a story about the Mauritanian community in the area.

A very important part of the project was the “How to Help” page, which allowed our readers to contribute funds and support to Mauritanian abolitionists and other vetted organizations.

We asked some members of the Mauritanian community in Ohio to help us produce a video that would ask the CNN iReport community to submit messages of support to Mauritanians in the local language of Hassaniya.

Once the videos had been submitted, I edited a compilation to share with the readers and which was sent to the organization SOS Esclaves in Mauritania.

John and I promoted the story with an interview on CNN with anchor Don Lemon, who showed the full video on the broadcast.

CNN International also expressed interest in featuring the story. Their documentary producers interviewed John and I, I coordinated access to all of my video materials and edits, and they produced a half hour documentary which ran many times on the channel and was available around the world.

Photos from the story, although best viewed in the context of the full layout: