We’re Stry [pronounced STOHR-ee]. We’re a band of a reporters in pursuit of really great storytelling. We tell a lot of different stories in a lot of different ways.
We started back in July 2010 in Biloxi, Miss., with just one reporter: Dan, our founder. Now we’ve got a team of six working on our project in Springfield, Mo.
At the heart of our news operation, there are a handful of core beliefs. Eight core beliefs, actually. We believe that:
They’re the fabric of our society. They’re what makes the American Dream something tangible. They’re what make great inventions seem like such magic. They’re why great artists and great thinkers seem to rise above the rest.
At the root of everything we do, we have stories, stories about who we are, and why we do what we do, and where we’re going. And if you want to understand us, you have to start with our stories.
That’s where we start, too: With great stories. They power our world, and we hope you let them into yours.
The web lets us do amazing things with stories. That’s why we’ve designed Stry.us specifically to show off the beauty of both the web and long-form storytelling. These stories we’ve reported take time to read, and we think you should enjoy reading them. It shouldn’t be a chore to separate our stories from all the other distractions on your screen. Our website is built to allow you to focus fully on our storytelling.
News organizations have always done it one way: We decide what’s important, and we report on it.
We think there’s a different way. We think we should tell the stories that the community demands. We want to listen to our readers, and we want to make sure they have a voice in the stories that appear on this site.
Telling great stories requires tremendous patience. And time. Today’s news cycle doesn’t afford reporters many opportunities to take their time with a story. But we at Stry.us give our reporters the time to really dig into their stories. We’re not looking to fill a news hole. We’re not looking to churn out content or drive page views.
We’re interested in one thing: Finding and telling great stories. It takes time, and it takes a fine ear.
You won’t find an office for Stry.us. You won’t find a newsroom. We’ve stripped away all the overhead, and we’ve put everything we can into one cause: Empowering our reporters to tell great stories from wherever they are.
Journalists don’t often think of themselves as builders. But we do. Stry.us is about telling better stories in whatever way the stories need to be told. Sometimes, that means words and photos. Sometimes, it means digging deep into data. Sometimes, it means telling stories live.
Sometimes, it means combining all that into something completely new.
Great storytelling requires a builder’s touch. We give our reporters the tools to build amazing stories for you.
What we’re doing at Stry.us is a big experiment. We’re at a point in news where there’s a lot of talk, and not enough action.
So what we’re doing is all about experimentation. Stry.us is a lab for storytelling.
There are some amazing tools that we have at our disposal. We’re asking: How can we make journalism more awesome? How can we tell the best stories we can? The state of journalism is in flux, but let’s talk for a second about the state of storytelling, because there’s never been a better time to tell stories.
Enough about our mission. Let’s go tell some awesome stories.
Dan is a reporter, entrepreneur, lover of start-ups, frequent troublemaker and creator of awesome stuff. Not to bury the lede or anything, but he also really likes stories.
Dan founded Stry.us in July 2010, and the project launched with a bureau in Biloxi, Miss.
He continued to grow Stry.us through his work as a Reynolds Fellow out at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism in 2011-12.
Dan is also the creator of BooksAround, a social literacy experiment; JStart, a wiki of resources for entrepreneurial journalists; and Very Quotatious, a site for inspiration, thought and other wisdom suitable for quotation.
Jordan Hickey is about as itinerant a fellow as you’re likely to find (at least among other fellows and fellahs of similar age and occupation and hair color), having taken to heart the opening lines of E.B. White’s essay, “The Years of Wonder,” a few years back. He never allowed those words to fade from memory. It might seem odd, but those 38 words comprising just a few lines have in the intervening years prompted moves everywhere from New York to Bolivia.
Jordan’s written for Philadelphia Magazine, Vox, The Colorado Springs Independent, Esquire.com, USA Hockey Magazine, Creative Loafing Atlanta, Tiny Mix Tapes, Adelante!, and others.
He reads often and loves stories, esp. Capote, Didion, White — the spines of their books are the ones most in disrepair among Jordan’s collection.
Bari Bates is a rising senior at the Missouri School of Journalism, where she studies magazine journalism, political science and community development. She hails from the suburbs of Chicago, and she was brought up to prefer her pizza deep-dish.
Bari wrote for the Columbia Missourian in fall 2011, and spent early 2012 in Brussels, where she reported for Inter Press Service as an intern. After traveling to Ghana in summer 2011, Bari developed a passion for travel and international development, and hopes to make her way back to Africa soon.
Roman Stubbs graduated from the University of Montana in 2011. He is a former editor in chief of the Montana Kaimin and assistant managing editor of the Montana Journalism Review. He has served as a reporter for the Associated Press, and has written for various publications in Montana, Nevada, Pennsylvania and South Africa.
Roman is a fifth-generation Montanan, and is proud to call the West home. Aside from journalism, he enjoys history, music, the Chicago Bears (sadly) and horseback riding.
Sarah Elms is a recent graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., where she studied journalism and sociology. She is an unabashed people-watcher, a lover of stories and a fan of trying something new.
Sarah was the arts & entertainment editor at Marquette’s student newspaper, the Marquette Tribune, and has written for Milwaukee Magazine and the A.V. Club Milwaukee.
She was born and raised in the Midwest and appreciates the simple things in life. When Sarah is not writing or reading, you can usually find her watching HGTV, feeding her music addiction or planning her next adventure.
Zach Crizer is a native of the newsroom. Stepping out of his known habitat, he hopes to expand on his passion for longform journalism that makes a difference.
Zach was editor-in-chief of the Collegiate Times — the independent student newspaper at Virginia Tech — for the most recent academic year. During his four years at the paper, his work chronicled the aftermath of the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre. Earlier this year, he was named one of the top student media leaders in the country for leading the paper’s driving, innovative coverage of the Dec. 8, 2011, shootings on Virginia Tech’s campus. His writing has been recognized in several national and state contests.
Last summer, Zach developed a close relationship with New York City while reporting for the New York Post city desk. He probed New York’s transportation systems and covered court in Manhattan.
When he isn’t writing or tweeting, Zach can often be found watching baseball, eating at hole-in-the-wall restaurants or drinking Coca-Cola from glass bottles.
This website is responsively designed, which means that it’s kind of magic. (You can read more about the magic right here.)
I told the Sparkbox team that I wanted to tell amazing stories and present them in a beautiful way. And then they went and built us this amazing bit of code that we call the Stry.us website.
If you like it, shoot them an email and thank them. They deserve all the credit.
Looking for high-res Stry.us logos, along with media contact information for the Stry.us team? We’ve got it all available here on our Totem page.
We’ve also got other recent press coverage available on that page.