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VPM News 2019 Murrow Award Entry - Multimedia

Orbital Music Park co-founder Tom Illmensee (right) plays along with his child Bunny (left) in the lounge.
Orbital Music Park Co-Founder Tom Illmensee (right) plays along with his child Bunny (left) in the lounge. (Crixell Matthews/VPM)

VPM has expanded our broadcast coverage with multimedia content that allows us to examine different layers of a story and reach new audiences. This entry includes links demonstrating how we did this with five significant stories covering crime and police data; gentrification and housing policy; seclusion and restraint; the unveiling of “Rumors of War,” and a story about artists building a new kind of collaborative workspace.

In VPM’s story about the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s approach to crime, we had a dataset of thousands of police field stops. Working with a data journalist, we made an interactive map giving our audience the opportunity to see where the stops were concentrated. Another set of interactive charts lets the viewer compare the race of residents and reasons for stops.The interactives gave us a chance to do more with the data than we could in a straight broadcast story where lots of numbers are challenging to communicate. 

For a story about gentrification and aging in place, we produced audio, images, video and infographics based on data critical to the story.  A large part of the feature was about property tax relief and with a topic so dense, we knew sharing the story of a long-time homeowner was critical to reaching audiences on multiple platforms. It’s one of our most popular news videos to date. 

For a collaborative investigative series on seclusion and restraint, VPM obtained data for more than 80 schools showing the numbers of these incidents over two recent school years. We knew it was important to share these numbers with the public but in a way where they could easily visualize the stats and easily browse the full data. 

In a city known for dozens of Confederate monuments, there was a lot of anticipation in Richmond for the unveiling of Kehinde Wiley’s first large scale sculpture “Rumors of War.” We put together a team of reporters and digital producers for a live blog documenting the day in text, sound, images and video, which was also shared on Instagram and Twitter. We produced content for the evening newscasts that ran within 60 minutes of the unveiling and spots and feature story that was broadcast the next day.

At the end of the year, we broadcast a human interest feature on a “gym for musicians” - a new model for providing affordable practice space with a bigger mission: creating a supportive and inclusive space for people to meet, play, collaborate and build community. We knew there were multiple angles and people to highlight, so we dispatched our visuals producer to create a complementary video taking a deeper dive into one musician’s experience with the new initiative.


VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.
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