Ghosts of Chernobyl
Judge's Special Recognition, Silver Award, and Award of Merit
On Sept. 11, 2001, panic swept Beaver County, PA, as a hijacked jet crossed over our area. Most in the county had one thought: It was headed for Shippingport, our local nuclear power plant. It turned out, of course, that the jet crashed in a field near Shanksville after passing us by, but the fears over terrorist threats to the Shippingport persisted. Schools and businesses stocked up on iodine tablets in case of a nuclear breech. Families made escape plans, and people began to pay attention to the "evacuation route" signs they'd always ignored. If anything were to happen, we knew we were in the Dead Zone.
In that climate, the Beaver County Times decided to send a reporter and photographer to Chernobyl, Ukraine, to investigate the dead zone that remained after the famous meltdown of the nuclear reactors there. When they returned, Cathy had the opportunity to design a 20-page, ad-free section to showcase the photographs and stories they brought back. The section went on to win special recognition from the Society for News Design, which is about as close to an Oscar as any news designer will every get.