Sources of Joy: Crunch Time

Work at Hoy is awfully fun these days.

In addition to collaborating on  a fascinating project about demographic change in 16 counties in Central Illinois with our friends and colleagues at Citizen-Access, I’ve also been working with Sam Vega and Tino Morales.

They’re our videographers who started working at Hoy a little more than a month ago.

One of the new projects we’ve taken up is called Crunch Time.

It’s an effort to take readers behind the scenes to show how we acquire and analyze public data about critical issues facing our city and communities.

We’re still working out the kinks, and it’s been a tremendously enjoyable learning process.

We’ve been doing the project for less than a month, and already we’ve looked at nursing homes quality, homicides in Chicago and the potential termination of funding for severely disabled children.

We’ve also taken Crunch Time on the road to a corn field in Rantoul.

In the first one, shot literally in the field, we talked about the impact of the drought that has affected large parts of the nation on the migrant workers, many of whom had ventured north from states like Texas with the hopes of finding months of work detasseling and then harvesting corn in Rantoul.

For many, the drought ended their summer’s employment in about three weeks.

The second piece returned to the same corn field a week later to look at how much the baking sun had made the land even more parched.

Sam and Tino have already helped me gain a better sense of how to think about visual storytelling.

I can’t wait to see what else we do together.

In the meantime, please feel free to check out what we’ve already done in Rantoul at the following locations:

We’re heading to Champaign and Urbana in the morning.

More fun for us, and more video coming your way soon.



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