#9 – ONA MJ Bear Fellow Tricia Fulks on taking the freelance leap from print to documentary (Video)

Hollow is an interactive documentary “for the community, by the community” of McDowell County, W.Va.,  a once-prosperous community built on coal. The project is a combination of user-generated videos, video profiles, slideshows and interactive data.

(Photo courtesy of Tricia Fulks)

Tricia Fulks, Hollow’s story director, is a native West Virginian. She says the project is a chance to address the “horrible stereotypes” of West Virginians she sees in the media. By giving video cameras to community members, the project is also a chance for locals to address these stereotypes.

“We really hope to engage them, empower them, [have them] be able to tell their own stories,” she told “It’s All Journalism.”

Visually, trailers for the Hollow project pull you in with beautiful cinematography and raw images of real life in the seemingly forgotten town. While the project is easy to watch, like every entrepreneurial idea, it needed funding.

Tricia shared with It’s All Journalism’s Jolie Lee and Mike O’Connell how the Hollow team was able to raise funds for the project through a Kickstarter campaign, as well as through grants.

Hollow is set to be completed in the spring of 2013.

A bit about Tricia:

We at It’s All Journalism met Tricia two years ago in our graduate program at American University. At the time, Tricia was editor of Shepardstown Chronicle in West Virginia. While at West Virginia University, Tricia co-founded West Virginia Uncovered, which has trained more than a dozen weekly newspapers in online storytelling. Currently, Tricia is a research and production assistant for PBS’ Frontline.

At age 25, Tricia has won awards for her reporting, and recently she was named an MJ Bear Fellow from the Online News Association for her work with Hollow.


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