SwitchYard specializes in investigative reporting. We act as an extension of our clients’ content teams, researching, analyzing, and presenting information in a compelling visual format. Slideshows, interactive graphics, infographics and video help to tell a story in a way that engages an audience and gets shared on social media.
The Faces of Foodstamps
SwitchYard’s editors identified five individuals and families around the country who had fallen on hard times and recently began to rely on food stamps to make ends meet. We dispatched five photographers and a writer to profile the subjects, and we produced a magazine-style slideshow story with portraiture and an infographic. Due to our independent relationship as a content provider to MSN.com, the story was distributed via MSN’s news channels and reached a very broad and diverse audience, attracting special attention to the story.
The Mississippi River and the making of a Deadzone
Working with writer Paul Greenberg, the author of the James Beard Award winning bestseller “Four Fish,” SwitchYard’s editors and graphic artists reviewed and analyzed scientific papers and satellite imagery, and interviewed scientists and conservationists to design an infographic that succinctly describes how a "suffocation zone" forms each year at the mouth of the Mississippi. Produced in tangent with the Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN), the graphic accompanied Greenberg’s article in The American Prospect magazine’s print and online editions. It has been distributed frequently as a visual explainer and has been re-published for scientific meetings and in many other publications.
Poisons with a bias
Maps are a frequent part of SwitchYard’s repertoire because they provide instantaneous geographic information that is hard to achieve with the written word alone. SwitchYard worked hand-in-hand with writer Liza Gross to formulate an infographic for the Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN) that crystallized the story — Latino children in California schools are exposed to far more pesticide pollution than other children. We acquired satellite imagery, sorted through Department of Agriculture records and spoke with environmental experts to design the infographic. The story and graphic, published in The Nation magazine in 2015, was an Awards of Excellence winner from the Association of Health Care Journalists.
Lead Contamination in the Water
As experienced reporters, we know that incidents like the contamination of Flint, Michigan’s drinking water system are frequently not isolated. With a little web research and a lot of phone reporting, we were able to discern a pattern of drinking water contamination in other cities around the country. We reported and produced the story for FairWarning, a nonprofit investigative news organization that focuses on public health, safety and environmental issues, and designed the graphic in three sections for use in print, web and social media.
Toxic Heritage: America's Abandoned Mines
SwitchYard collaborates with a network of award-winning independent, non-profit, investigative news organizations around the country that are often the first to expose important news events. Our Colorado-based environment reporter brought the problem of toxic runoff at abandoned mines to the attention of SwitchYard editors who pitched the idea to FairWarning, a nonprofit investigative news organization that focuses on public health, safety and environmental issues. SwitchYard embarked on an investigation that was presented in a succinct one-page graphic. The piece was republished in the San Francisco Chronicle, New Mexico In Depth and by the Investigative Reporting Workshop.