A New Dawn


Lexington Herald-Leader journalist David Stephenson’s collection of audio slideshows titled “A New Dawn” follows Dawn Nicole Smith’s struggle with addiction and puts a human face on a very important story.

Many of us know someone touched by addiction, whether to drugs or alcohol. But what we don’t understand – unless we’re living with the person – is the true degree of destruction it can have on a life.

I knew that following Dawn Nicole Smith’s progress through Fayette County Drug Court could take more than a year. That’s how long it takes most addicts to finish the intensive treatment program, if they finish at all.

Well, more than 8,000 photos, 10 hours of audio and three years after we met Dawn in March 2004, we’re publishing her story.

It’s an poignant, extremely well-told story. Watch, learn and enjoy.



  1. Hey Chris you should mention that the reason that story was produced is because of sites like yours. David told me about your site a while back and has given you guys credit with aiding him in making this particular audio slideshow. Keep up the good work.

  2. I’m not going to take any credit on this one, however i would like to use it as an opportunity to publicly thank richard for all he has given back to journalism in the last year. he has been all over the country and all over the internet helping people tell better stories and he really deserves praise for it.

    here are a few lines that david stephenson sent to me earlier today about how multimediashooter helped him.

    “Thanks for the mention on Multimediashooter.com regarding A New Dawn. I always look at the site and have often wondered if I would produce anything worth a mention there, so thank you.

    BUT, what Richard needs to know so he can pat himself on the back, is that I built that Flash interface based on the Chaptered Soundslides tutorial posted on Multimediashooter. I guarantee you, without hesitation or reservation, that A New Dawn would not at all look or run the way it does without that tutorial. There is no one in our newsroom that can produce anything like that, so I decided to do it myself. And I know very little about Flash (Dammit captain, I’m a photographer, not a web developer!)”

    Even great storytellers like david sometimes need a little help to push stuff over the top, and fortunately richard’s tutorial and his hard work on this site was able to help. Congrats and thanks to both of you.

    the chaptered soundslides tutorial can be found here – http://www.multimediashooter.com/wp/?p=193