Here at The Bad Version, we’re interested in people who not only start new conversations, but also redirect existing ones. Take, for example, Dan Oshinsky, a self-described “creator of awesome stuff ”wh ois producing journalism of a different stripe through his project Stry (pronounced “story”), which began as a one-man bureau in Biloxi, Mississippi in July 2010. Stry, which now has six reporters on board, practices the sort of shoe-leather reporting that most news outlets are too financially straitjacketed to support. The demand for round-the-clock updates and bulk quantities of quick, snappy news items represents a formidable hurdle when trying to make a profit-driven argument for intensive, long-term reporting on the ground. Stry attempts to move against the current. The team is based in Springfield, Missouri this summer, collecting stories from townspeople and crafting long-form pieces that focus on narrative, color, and personal history. I had the opportunity to chat with Oshinsky, so hear about Stry’s mission of storytelling from the founder himself:
EY: Let’s start at the beginning, in 2010, when you decided to launch Stry. What was going through your head at the time?
DAN: I was working at a TV station in San Antonio, Texas, and I was looking at two things: I was looking out at the Gulf of Mexico—there was oil coming out of the gulf still—and the economy was not doing so well. And then there was this third thing: the Katrina anniversary was coming up, and I had been down to New Orleans about a couple months after Katrina. It stayed on my mind. But I wasn’t seeing stories come out about what people were dealing with down on the gulf. I was seeing stories about New Orleans, but not about Mississippi, Alabama, the gulf. It really bothered me. And what I should’ve done was left it alone and gone back to playing Tetris on my computer, but for whatever reason, I decided that it bothered me enough that I wanted to do something about it. So I left my job and moved to Mississippi to do this [Stry].| | | Next → |