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|| News Item: Posted 2009-07-27

Team Work Brings Together Cardinal Culture Multimedia Project
By Robert Cohen, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Photo by
On a recent steamy Saturday morning in late June, eleven members of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch photography department set out into Cardinal Nation to tell the story of the biggest fans of baseball, their lives intertwined with the balls and strikes that soared over the largest diamond-shaped piece of downtown grass.

Cardinal Culture was born in late May, the result of a meeting of editors discussing an upcoming special section, a kickoff for Major League Baseball's All-Star game in St. Louis. The city had always been known for its dedicated baseball fans and the newspaper hoped to hone in on that heritage.

As the visual team's contribution, Larry Coyne, director of photography at the Post-Dispatch, suggested the staff produce a 'day in the life' look at Cardinal baseball from the fans' perspective. Stories would be told about how the Cardinals intersected the daily lives of St. Louisans - how some went as far as to plan their wedding around the team or how others simply tuned in at the barbershop.

Unfortunately there were no remaining home games against the archrival Chicago Cubs before the All-Star game. So the staff agreed that it would cover a typical home game, one against the Minnesota Twins.

The staff held a series of brainstorming sessions, with photographers and picture editors tossing out story ideas along the way. Stories were further developed by staffers and were supplemented with a posting on the newspaper website,, asking Cardinal fans to tell them how they would be watching the game on June 27. That posting cast the idea net much wider, bringing home ideas that the staff would otherwise know nothing about.

The entire staff was activated for this day, shooting either video or still images depending on which was best for their story, with input from editors and two staff members who served as producers. Because it was a Saturday game, the normal assignment load for the newspaper would be light, so those assignments were freelanced and Coyne volunteered to work the picture desk so that the assigned weekend editor could also shoot.

Following a long day of shooting, staffers had a day or two to edit their own stories, working both still and video packages in Final Cut. Producers then spent the next week or so developing a main video, a trailer of sorts, that told the stories of all the featured fans and at the same time worked as a teaser to the individual stories.

Coordination for web presentation was handled by multimedia director Will Sullivan and web designer Brian Williamson, who designed the custom flash page.

(To view the Cardinal Culture project:

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