A New Age of Walls team

In the United States, Donald Trump’s call to build a wall along the US-Mexico border was a central theme to his campaign for presidency. In response, The Washington Post assembled a small team to investigate the complex socio-economic ramifications of the phenomenon of governments erecting barriers.

Samuel Granados, senior graphics editor, led the team effort to create a digital story that would provide high-level analysis of the global trend while also conveying the emotional human experiences on both sides of border walls. Zoeann Murphy, a video journalist who spent more than a decade documenting refugees and migration issues, led the video and photography components of the project. Kevin Schaul, an award-winning visual journalist, reported and built the backend of the pioneering new storytelling platform, where the user can smoothly scroll through interwoven video, text, and graphics. Berlin bureau chief Anthony Faiola added extensive experience reporting on globalization and writing. The team worked closely for several months on both the narrative and the design of the platform.

The project was a close collaboration between The Washington Post’s graphics, video, and foreign desks. Kat Downs, graphics director, is at the forefront of interaction design and pushed the project to use advanced metrics analysis to better understanding user behavior. Reem Akkad, senior producer of video, had worked on dozens of documentaries and oversaw the video editing. The Washington Post’s foreign editor, Douglas Jehl, brought to the project the talent and vision of his international teams, including reporting from Anthony Faiola and Stephanie Kirchner in Europe, Joshua Partlow in Mexico, and William Booth and Ruth Eglash in Israel.