Humans of New York

If you haven't heard of Humans of New York (HONY), you HAVE to check it out. Like, right now. Or, if you're not convinced yet, then right after you read this post.

The man behind HONY is Brian Stanton, and this is what you'll find in the "About" section of the website:
“Humans of New York began as a photography project in 2010.  The initial goal was to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers on the street, and create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants.
“Somewhere along the way, I began to interview my subjects in addition to photographing them. And alongside their portraits, I'd include quotes and short stories from their lives.”
Taken together, these portraits and captions became the subject of a vibrant blog. HONY now has over twenty million followers on social media, and provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers on the streets of New York City.  
So, there's your background. HONY is a blog, a book, and now a video series on Facebook, which you should definitely watch (but, if you're an educator, you may have to obtain parental permission first to show it to your students, since they're not censored). Each episode is only 15-20 minutes.

What I really love about HONY as an educator, though, is it's method. This is raw, journalistic research that is real and non-judgmental. As a former journalist, I can say, that lack of bias is A  HUGE DEAL. Some choices are made — in the series especially — of course, to cut certain things, but there's no commentary by Stanton on the snippets he uses; they're just the interviewees words. It's refreshing, emotional, and, I'll say it again, inspiring. I think students — especially journalism students  need to experiment with this type of storytelling before attempting to write their own (unbiased) work.

I received the most recent edition of the book as a Christmas present last year and didn't get around to reading it until a month or so ago, but when I started I got through all of it in a day (and it's a thick book). Here are some of my favorites:



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