How to Do Oral History the Right Way: Remembering the Baltimore Stallions, Our College Pick

Maryland-CollegeReads

Journalism, like everything else, has its trends. From celebrity guest editors to abundant Upworthian headlines, there’s a lot of replication in our business. So it was with low expectations that I began to read “Baltimore’s Forgotten Champions,” an oral history of a Canadian Football League team by a group of University of Maryland students. Most oral histories are not particularly challenging or innovative – they are, after all, just stitched-together interviews. But this one required some deep reporting to identify, locate, and interview more than 40 sources, including Baltimore Stallions superfans and the team’s former marketing executive. The Capital News Service team went beyond simply interviews and created several interactive graphics to help tell their story in an organic way, not just a tacked-on-for-technology’s sake way. This is the kind of oral history worth repeating.

Baltimore’s Forgotten Champions

Capital News Service | January 24, 2014 | 49 minutes (12,268 words)

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Aileen Gallagher
Aileen Gallagher teaches magazine journalism at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She was previously a senior editor for NYMag.com, New York magazine's award-winning website. Prior to joining New York, Gallagher was a founding editor of the independent online magazine, The Black Table. Her writing has appeared in various print and online outlets, including Vulture, Slate, Bust, the New York Post, and many others.
  • http://seanmussenden.com/ Sean Mussenden

    Thanks for the nod, Aileen! The students worked extremely hard on it, so it’s nice to see their hard work acknowledged.