Elena is a young woman in the Ukraine who likes to hop on her Kawasaki Ninja and ride along the deserted highways and streets of the area around Chernobyl. Armed with a camera — and a device for detecting radiation — she has travelled into the region several times and has documented it all at her website Ghost Town: My rides through Chernobyl area.

The result is a multipage, haunting look at reality in region of the world’s worst nuclear energy accident. It’s not journalism as we’ve been teaching it, but it’s journalism nonetheless and a good example of how words and pictures can be used to tell stories in compelling ways. Elena’s story slowly builds towards a truly haunting ending.

And according to the counter on her front page, her site is well-read, with over 600,000 hits. We all know web counters don’t reflect unique visits, but even if you cut that number in half, that’s good readership.

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