This is Stavros Malichudis, reporter for Solomon, and I’m very much excited about writing this first “Notes from the field” newsletter for you!
After a year of working closely with one another, my colleagues at Solomon now know that when I get hold of something that could possibly make a powerful story for publication, I get overrun by enthusiasm.
It usually starts when I get a lead for a new story, or just finish an appointment with a source who has shared something I find extraordinary. And, then, things usually go like this: me spamming my coworkers with messages or calls about it, making promises that this time I will have a 3,000-word piece ready for publication in two days (even though nobody asked me to), and then they try to calm me down, weighing things and sharing concerns and many hmm’s.
So, as you can imagine, this was also more or less what happened, when I found myself walking around the ashes of Moria, among burnt tents and destroyed possessions, and I stumbled upon an IOM’s personnel logbook from the safe zone of Moria’s Reception and Identification Center that became the basis for the powerful story we worked on, in collaboration with Investigate Europe and Reporters United (and published also in Tagesspiegel, Mediapart, Publico, openDemocracy, Klassekampen, WP Magazyn, Vice Deutsch, and infoLibre).
Thankfully we didn’t publish the story “within a week”, as I had initially insisted to my colleague Iliana Papangeli, when I got back from Lesvos and we started working on it together. We published it approximately 1.5 months later, on November 1. And, to be honest, it couldn’t have been done otherwise.
Here, I would like to share with you how we spent that time, and all the steps we followed so that a notebook that contained original material – which we considered to be of major importance not only for Greek but for a European audience – took shape into a well-rounded story.
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