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Searchlight New Mexico is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization dedicated to investigative reporting and innovative data journalism.

In a landscape of shrinking media resources, our mission is to focus high-impact journalism on topics of local, regional and national interest in order to allow the public to see into the remote recesses of government and to expose abuses of power.

We believe great reporting empowers people to demand honest, effective public policy and to seek appropriate remedies.

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Searchligt New Mexico Magazine
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© 2019 Searchlight New Mexico.  |  All rights reserved. For republishing terms, see Guidelines. 

Images by Don Usner

INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM

2018: The year in photographs

By Don Usner, Photojournalist | January 3, 2019


Boy by a roadside, near Sanostee, New Mexico. Don J. Usner / Searchlight New Mexico


Taking photographs for Searchlight New Mexico stories led me all over the state this year, often into places I would never have ventured otherwise. Even though I was born and have spent most of my life here, I discovered much that was new to me. It’s one thing to look at a map and think about the geographic and cultural diversity of New Mexico; it’s quite different to experience it on the ground — from the vast llanos of the east to the oil fields of the southeast, along the Mexican border into the raw expanses of the Navajo Nation.


Being in the company of Searchlight’s reporters, seeking images to visually support their work, made the journeys all the more poignant. The writers introduced me to people whose experiences and stories resounded and stirred my heart. I logged many hundreds of miles and came back with a deep appreciation for the land and people in this singular place — and for the daunting challenges that so many people face as they strive to improve their lives. To see and comment on a small selection of the photos, click here.