Seventy-five years ago, a fire broke out in Hartford, Connecticut.
On July 6, 1944, fire erupted inside the big top at a Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. One hundred and sixty eight people, including 100 children, were killed. Another 700 were injured, according to the Hartford Courant.
Seventy-five years later, the Courant decided to create a living memorial for the survivors. Staff spent months sifting through state archives. Using old statements, they created a graphic that reenvisioned people inside the tent.
“The circus fire is still talked about in Hartford, mostly because there are still many survivors alive but also because so many people either had relatives who were there or know people who were there and survived,” said investigative reporter Dave Altimari in an email. “It’s a story that has been passed between generations for 75 years.”
This week, we have three examples of local journalism that amplifies people’s voices and experiences. In addition to the Circus Fire project from the Courant, you can also read about a pot podcast from the Miami Herald and a story created with a reader from RI News Today in Rhode Island.
What’s your newsroom working on? Share the work that you’re proud of, and I’ll reach out if we decide to feature it.
All the answers shared here came through a Google form and emails have been edited for length and clarity.
Newsroom: Hartford Courant
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2019/the-hartford-courant-let-survivors-of-a-tragic-75-year-old-circus-fire-tell-their-own-stories/