“Arizona Revealed” isn’t about a hidden place. It’s about hidden people: refugees and refugee communities, hiding in plain sight in the Valley and Arizona. Newcomers fleeing war, climate change, and economic disruption are making their way here in large numbers. From Burma, Iraq, Bhutan, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Cuba, the Congo, Syria and other besieged nations, they come and quietly enter Arizona life. Like generations of others who preceded them – from Vietnam, Mexico, and Croatia – they build their communities and businesses while getting an education, maintaining the heritage of the culture left behind and embracing the values and opportunities of the Copper State.
- First, the entire series launches on 12news.com, and not on 12 News on broadcast TV. You can see the entire project starting at 7AM Sunday morning. It’s not TV first, referring to the website. It’s the website first and foremost, with TV stories that are not nearly as extensive, coming later in newscasts.
- Second is its depth. Five video packages, mapping of refugee communities in the Valley, statistics that give context to this movement, and slide shows of the individuals who are trying to live the American Dream along with those people and organizations who are helping them. It’s a lot of unique and highly visual elements that can be consumed all at once or in stages, on demand.
- Third, its primary reporters are at very different stages in their careers and one of the first such collaborations between a local broadcast outlet and outside media contributors. Josh Burton, is a graduating senior at the Cronkite School and Criselda Marie Z. Caringal is a Hubert Humphrey Fellow also at Cronkite. Josh is a documentarian who wants to take us to places that we’ve never seen. Criselda, she goes by “Isel,” is a veteran producer of a TV documentary show in her native Philippines named “i Witness.” Isel arrived in Arizona as Donald Trump was demanding that we build walls at the border. Her curiosity about this anger and fear met Josh’s passion for documenting refugees.
KPXN’s sister-station WXIA-TV was the first TEGNA property to take on a reporting project similar to Arizona Revealed. The award-winning “The Triangle” went inside the heroin outbreak ravaging the northern suburbs of Atlanta, was reported primarily by students and was released on the dot com first. This quality, unique, multi-platform experience is content that will separate 12 News and other outlets that follow suit in a highly competitive marketplace.