Five Years Later – New Story/Photo Story on Baltimore Sun’s Darkroom

I don’t really know how to start this post, so I’m just going to jump right in….

This past month of October I have been working on a story. It was unlike any I have done before. I love my job and the assignments I receive – I get to go to concerts for free, take super awesome photos of my favorite artists, travel to neat festivals, photograph bars for review, see events for free, I pretty much get paid to have fun – but I wasn’t feeling very fulfilled emotionally in the types of things I was photographing. That is when I decided I needed to change directions and put my efforts into something that mattered more than surface value. The entire reason I have studied journalism for so many years is because I want to help people my writing their stories, photographing their lives and amplifying their cause.

The Diviney’s story wasn’t news to me. My mother has followed and donated to Ken’s blog since the attack on Ryan happened and shared it with me. I’ve been following along as well. I remember the first time I heard about it – a post from Ryan’s little sister Kari was floating around Facebook, describing in gut wrenching detail what happened to her big brother. I shared it, teared up and went on my way. Fast forward five years later. I now know how to do this correctly and how to do it well. I was sitting in my school library when I saw that Ken blogged a post about a skull surgery Ryan was about to undergo and, without really thinking too much into how this was going to work, I emailed my editor, he gave me the green light to write it, and then I emailed Ken with the pitch. He immediately responded and two days later I was sitting in a hospital cafeteria with Ken and Sue, witnessing first hand what it’s like to have your kid get their upteenth skull surgery.

This story took me on a month long journey to see into the lives of this family – a typical, down to earth American family – and how they deal with the huge mountain of their present day state all because Ryan, who did nothing wrong, happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Ashburn, Va -- October 23, 2014 -- Ken exercises Ryan's arms. A portrait of Ryan during his baseball days hangs on the wall, a reminder of Ryan's past self. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)

Ashburn, Va — October 23, 2014 — Ken exercises Ryan’s arms. A portrait of Ryan during his baseball days hangs on the wall, a reminder of Ryan’s past self. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)

Ashburn, Va -- October 23, 2014 -- Ken kisses the top of Ryan's head during a break from physical therapy. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)

Ashburn, Va — October 23, 2014 — Ken kisses the top of Ryan’s head during a break from physical therapy. (Kaitlin Newman/Baltimore Sun)

Ashburn, Va -- October 23, 2014 -- Ken with Ryan as a small boy. (Courtesy of the Diviney Family)

Ashburn, Va — October 23, 2014 — Ken with Ryan as a small boy. (Courtesy of the Diviney Family)

Please, please, please take the time to share, like and comment on this article on The Baltimore Sun’s Darkroom page. There you can see the entire photo gallery and read the story. Ken’s blog, Ryan’s Rally, is also linked within the story. I know you guys have been bombarded with my Mobbie posts (sorry) but if you decided to click on anything from my blog, let it be this. I hope that this story will drive more traffic to their blog and not only help with donations but to also help keep this story alive. Campus violence is something that is on the rise but largely ignored and that needs to change.

Thank you.

Kaitlin

3 thoughts on “Five Years Later – New Story/Photo Story on Baltimore Sun’s Darkroom

  1. I remember first reading about Ryan & I cried. I knew he was only a year older then my daughter and I thought, my God this could happen to my child. My heart broke for his parents, his family. That day I decided to start to donate to Ryan. I don’t donate much a month but everything helps because their bills are astronomical and this young man did not deserve to be savagely beaten like this and have all of his hopes & dreams shattered. I’ll continue to follow the Diviney’s. I will continue to hope that they get at least some bright moments in their child’s life. I am in awe of how strong of a family they are and and this shows love & devotion at it’s very best.

  2. The strength of this family is amazing, your story and pictures captured the daily struggles and the love. What a shame that the courts basically let the ones responsible get away with nothing short of a slap on the wrist. Will repost

  3. Pingback: 2014 Review and My Year as A Freelance Photojournalist | kaitlinnewman.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s