Ghost Boat 7
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Ghost Boat

Project Type

Community Engagement Content Editorial


Art Direction Reporting Social Strategy

The Brief

To drive a growth phase at Medium, we needed a way to role model the creative possibilities of the innovative publishing platform we’d created.

The Spark

We saw an opportunity to use a popular pastime —internet sleuthing — for positive ends: a small but meaningful intervention in the international migrant crisis in North Africa and the Mediterranean region.

Ghost Boat 8

The Work

Ghost Boat was a 10-part participatory investigation into the disappearance of a Libyan refugee boat transporting over two hundred people to Europe.


Through open calls to review satellite imagery and data sharing, we engaged online communities to share in our quest to find the missing boat and its passengers. 


Photographer Gianni Cipriano created stunning imagery, from documenting objects abandoned by refugees that made the arduous journey from North Africa to Sicily to portraits of surviving family members.

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Ghost Boat


Editorial Director :
Bobbie Johnson

Writer :
Eric Reidy

Gianni Cipriano

Rebecca Cohen

Copy Editor:
Rachel Glickhouse

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Why We Run

Community Engagement Digital Experience User Research