Detroit Free Press Takes Storytelling Into Real-Time

By: Heidi Kulicke

Detroit Free Press Takes Storytelling Into Real-Time

The northward invasion of Asian carp in the Midwest spurred the Detroit Free Press to investigate the effects. On May 2, reporter Tina Lam and photographer Brian Kaufman embarked on a 13-day voyage across seven states to document the damage and government efforts to contain the invasive species slowly making its way to the Great Lakes.


The Free Press team used Intersect, a new Web service that allows users to plot stories on a map, to produce an interactive visual of the journey.


In an article posted to Intersect, Free Press director of digital audience development Stefanie Murray said the platform just seemed like the perfect fit for the story.


“One of the reasons we like Intersect is because it combines geolocation with live blogging and visuals,” Murray said. “Being able to put content against a map, and against a timeline, gives the news consumer more options.”


Intersect publicly launched in beta in December. CEO Peter Rinearson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, formerly of the Seattle Times. He described the site as a place for people to connect with one another through stories and photos of experiences, which are mapped by both place and time.


“Lam and Kaufman are telling engaging stories in bite-sized pieces. I’m enjoying following along, because the story is important, the reporting and photography are good, and because it’s one way to watch the process of evolution in journalism,” Rinearson wrote on the site.


Lam and Kaufman posted 28 stories to Intersect in their 13 days on the road. The Free Press used this reporting in a print and online series about the carp’s northward progress. The map and timeline are posted at More information about Intersect can be found at

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