Thursday, September 2, 2010 Debuts Belle Isle Video Special

The Detroit Free Press ( has produced some noteworthy videojournalism projects over the past few years -- some of the best in the industry -- showcasing the talents of visual journalists whose management team appreciates their value and champions their work.* Some have won Emmys.

What distinguishes many of their stories is the commitment of time and staff resources -- teams will spend months on multi-part multimedia packages, such as Motown's 50th anniversary, or the 40th anniversary of Aretha's Respect, or this season's Art of the Foul Ball. They've followed foster kids at an orphanage, and a batallion of Marines in Iraq. Their video package on the pros and cons of pit bulls continues to be one of the most popular attractions on

More recently, because of a partnership with the local CBS affiliate, the photo/video department has had to focus on those quick 75-second "stories" that permeate broadcast news. And while they've worked hard and done an excellent job, we can't help but miss some of their more ambitious longterm escapades.

Which is why we're delighted to get word that they're debuting a three-part video special this Sunday (which will also air on local TV), called Belle Island Revealed. "Videographer Brian Kaufman documented the island over four seasons using the Canon 5D Mark ii to show Detroit's signature park as you've never seen it."

As Kaufman's photo (above) reveals:

Lining Belle Isle's canals are some of the island's oldest oak trees, some more than 200 years old and over 120 feet tall. During the late 1800s, an intricate system of canals was hand-cut into the island to drain its marshy surface and provide recreation opportunities. Today, they are overgrown and hard to navigate.
We look forward to watching!

And be sure to check out the Detroit Free Press channel on to enjoy the newspaper's previous videojournalism triumphs.

* CORRECTION: An early version of this post solely credited Kathy Kieliszewski for department leadership and misidentified her as "photo/video director." She graciously provided this clarification: "I am the deputy director of photo and video and Craig Porter is the director. He is really important part of why we do such great work, along with Nancy Andrews, the Deputy Manager for Digital Media. I am truly lucky to have two great bosses who value good photojournalism and they have paved the way for me to be able to get this work done." We tip our cybercap to all, and the teamwork they instill in their staff.

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