The Arizona Republic and USA TODAY Network

The Wall

The Arizona Republic and USA TODAY Network is one of the 2017 winners of the Journalism 360 Challenge. See all the winners.

Project Description

Donald Trump campaigned on the idea of a wall along the Mexican border. Before he took office, he promised it. After he took office, he ordered it.

The wall will be one of the largest projects in U.S. history with an estimated cost of $21.6 billion. The USA TODAY Network’s project combines emerging technology with investigative reporting to provide a strong and immersive experience that could help shape one of the most important stories of the year.

The Arizona Republic and the Network are going to watch it, examine it, question it, track it, measure it and experience it. Readers and viewers will be able to do the same in a project that goes beyond virtual reality and 360-degree video to include an innovative multimedia experience.

Our plan is to create a highly detailed border map and 3D/fly-through movie based on aerial collection of LiDAR data and high-resolution images.

With this data, we can:

  • Create an augmented reality version of the wall, showing what is planned.
  • Add data points, such as where the most migrant apprehensions take place.
  • Layer on any public data, such as shape files of private lands subject to eminent domain. This experience also will include powerful video storytelling.

We will produce:

  • The most current, comprehensive aerial video of the border by flying the length of the border and establishing a permanent record of what’s there.
  • Series of documentary shorts that will uncover multiple viewpoints and topics.
  • Feature-length piece.

With the USA TODAY Network’s reach – a total of 110 newsrooms across the country – we have the potential to provide the most comprehensive and nuanced view of the border ever seen, with the hope that it can help inform decisions and educate the public. Securing this grant is a key factor in successfully executing this critical work.



Read more: The Arizona Republic and USA TODAY NETWORK win Pulitzer Prize for border wall project

Arizona Republic, USA TODAY Network win EPPY award for project on President Trump’s border wall