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_Coal: A Love Story

“Coal: A Love Story” uses data-driven interactive graphics and short films to explore American energy consumption.

2011 Laura Ruel
EN Visit the project

“Forty-five percent of U.S. electricity comes from coal…. This is the story we wanted to tell: a story that would go beyond new technologies and new and old controversies and get right to the heart of America’s energy dilemma: our modern lives depend on old energy.”

Catherine Orr, Co-Producer of “Born Into Coal” feature, in the Yale Climate Media Forum

Produced by the Powering a Nation initiative based at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the interactive film Coal: A Love Story investigates American coal consumption. Through nine short videos and a variety of interactive graphics, the project profiles people who rely on the coal industry for their livelihoods, as well as the environmental and human cost of coal mining– revealing the complexity of America’s love affair with coal. The project’s interactive graphics allow audience members to chart their own coal consumption, revealing the importance of energy to our modern lifestyles and personalizing the controversy.

In partnership with the Carnegie Corporation’s News 21 initiative, designed to promote innovation in student journalism, Powering a Nation supports a class of student fellows each summer. Coal: A Love Story was created by the Powering a Nation class of 2011. Under the guidance of multimedia journalist Catherine Orr, a team of 11 UNC graduate students and recent graduates designed and developed the Coal: A Love Story website and produced its content over a single summer. The team won an SXSW Interactive Award for their work.

Project at a Glance :

Language : EN
Country : United States
Year : 2011
Author : Laura Ruel
Producer : News21,Powering a Nation
Team : Cath Spangler,Catherine Orr,Powering a Nation 2011 Fellows,Terence Oliver
Exhibition Venues : IDFA DocLab
Awards & Nominations : SXSW Interactive Award Winner
Funders AND Incubators : Carnegie Corporation of New York,Knight Foundation,News21,UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Url :
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