Reporter Alex Hagan spent three months embedded with the Parkland students following the Valentine’s Day shooting at their school.
The Parkland school shooting in February was the third mass shooting Alex Hagan had covered in just two years as a reporter at WPTV, Scripps’ NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, Florida. The 2016 Pulse Nightclub massacre and 2017 shooting spree at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport were the other two. In the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, however, Hagan saw the rise of a movement among survivors — something that warranted coverage beyond daily news stories.
The result: “Voices of a Movement,” a 22-minute documentary Hagan produced after spending three months embedded with the students, parents and teachers who spurred the state government to tighten gun laws.. He documented their their travels from Tallahassee to D.C. and their growing movement.
“We knew after the mass shooting, these students, on some level, were going to be able to succeed at change,” said WPTV news director Nicole Hogensen. “We wanted to document history in the making in a way that expanded beyond the traditional storytelling,”
WPTV lit up the documentary on the station’s various digital and OTT platforms, making it both evergreen and giving it reach beyond broadcast. It also opened the door for the station to expand its documentary production around other topics, and leverage long-form content to tell stories with the kind of depth that doesn’t fit into traditional TV news, Hogensen said.