'Print It Black': ABC News documentary spotlights Uvalde newspaper reporting on Robb Elementary shooting

Streaming on ABC News Live and Hulu on Friday, May 24 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT.

May 24, 2024, 6:13 AM

In the immediate aftermath of the Robb Elementary School shooting, the national media descended on the small town of Uvalde, Texas. Breaking news alerts were blasted to phones across the world. Camera crews set up tents and live shots overlooking the school. And as so often happens after these mass shooting events, the national media eventually picked up and largely left, periodically returning to cover developments.

ABC News decided to stay and embed with the city's only newspaper, the Uvalde Leader-News, to document how it reported on the fallout of the May 24, 2022 shooting – and on one of their staff members.

Kimberly Rubio sorts through artwork that her late daughter, Lexi, made over the years.
ABC News

The resulting feature documentary, “Print It Black,” chronicles former journalist Kimberly Rubio’s rise to national prominence as a gun safety reform advocate after her 10-year-old daughter, Lexi, was killed in the shooting. In total, 19 children and two teachers were murdered.

“After we wrapped our heads around what happened to us – what happened to Lexi – I immediately knew that I didn't want another mom to feel this way,” Rubio told ABC News.

As Rubio fought for accountability from the law enforcement agents who waited 77 minutes before confronting the gunman, her “second family” at the Leader-News has reported on her and other families’ activism, and the resulting community division. Rubio's fight goes on, two years after the shooting.

Kimberly Rubio looks at a mural of her 10-year-daughter, Lexi, who was one of the 21 victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
ABC News

“Print It Black” highlights the dwindling prevalence of local newsrooms, and the nuances that journalists living in the community they cover bring to their reporting. More than two newspapers shutter per week in the U.S., according to the Northwestern Medill Local News Initiative’s latest annual report.

Craig Garnett, owner and publisher of the Uvalde Leader-News, on Election Night 2022.
ABC News

“Papers across the country are folding right and left. We got news deserts popping up,” said Craig Garnett, the owner and publisher of the Uvalde Leader-News. “My only hope for this paper is that it continues because I just don't see how a community functions without somebody holding up a mirror.”

“Print It Black” had its world premiere at the Dallas International Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature. It will be available to stream on ABC News Live and Hulu on Friday, May 24 at 8 pm ET/9 pm PT.