Great Examples of Multimedia Journalism in Action

Here are some of the pieces I was quite impressed with on the web. This was written for a “Finding Multimedia Pieces” assignment in an Understanding Multimedia Journalism (NNS102) class at Ryerson University.

1. “Snow Fall”

By: John Branch via New York Times

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“Snow Fall” is a 6 part story about the avalanche at Tunnel Creek in February 2012. It is quite detailed and the presentation is absolutely beautiful. The first part of the story alone incorporates seamless GIFs of the mountain, video interviews with the skiers on the mountain, virtual displays of the routes individual skiers took on the mountain, pictures, demonstrations, character biographies, photo slideshows, virtual maps and of course text. This is definitely how multimedia should be used.

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2. “A Perfect Terrorist: David Coleman Headley’s Web of Betrayal”

Analysis by: Tom Jennings via Frontline and ProPublica

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This is an interactive, multimedia extensor of an episode of Frontline titled “A Perfect Terrorist.” There is a link back to the original Frontline episode at the top right, but this a video of Tom Jennings explaining how Headley was connected to everyone in an interactive web. As he draws and explains a new part of the story, you can click on his drawing and read more about what he’s talking about. For example, he mentions Headley’s mom, draws a picture, which you can then click on to see a short blurb about her, extra photos of her, and old newspaper articles about where she worked. This multimedia gives you a dynamic experience and really makes you feel like you are in the story.

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3. “Before New York” and “Beneath New York”

By: Peter Miller  via National Geographic

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This is a feature story about what New York City would have looked like hundreds of years ago before it was industrialized. First you have the 6-page in depth article about what New York might have been like in 1609. Part of this story, which you can click to from the top or left side, is a Photo Gallery with various constructed images of what different parts of modern New York would have looked like then. Finally, the third main part to this story is an interactive bird’s eye view map of modern day New York. You can scroll over different parts of the city and see what it would have been like as well as read a short blurb about it. You can also change the map view to 1782 version by military cartographers. This is an e

ffective way to make your story more real and reflects the National Geographic brand.

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4. “The Other 9/11”

By: Florencia Melgar (Journalist) & Sarah Gilbert (Writer)

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“The Other 9/11” is a multimedia story about the day in 1973 when the elected Chilean government was overthrown by a “brutal military corp.” “The Other 9/11” is a play on the fact that Chileans now have two terrible events associated with that day. There are 5 main chapters that you can either scroll down to or click down to from the top menu. Each short chapter is accompanied with photo galleries for the corresponding text. There are videos inserted that also relate to the text and photocopies of documents that you can click on to read. All throughout, there is a link on the bottom left of podcast titled, “SBS’s Radio Special Feature” talking about the role Australians played in this Chilean tragedy. This is also a good example of how to affectively use multimedia storytelling.

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5. “Mexico Under Siege: The Drug War at Our Doorstep”

By: Cecilia Sanchez and Richard Fausset via Los Angeles Times

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Since June 2008, reporters have been chronicling the actions of the Mexican drug cartels on both sides of the Mexico-US border. They have turned this never-ending story into a full multimedia experience. The first section of the story has the complete series of articles from 2008-now having something to do with this drug war. The series is organized into a clear list that can be filters by location or topic. The next section of this multimedia experience is an interactive map of Mexico that lets you see deaths by location and deaths by week in a bar graph. It also has a scroll-list of major players in the big cartels. You scroll over their faces to get bio and location of operation. The “Multimedia Gallery” has a large collection of videos, photos, galleries and audio slideshows that you can filter by those headings as well. Their icon photos make them very interesting. The last section of this experience is a number of Video Q&As with editors and reporters from this project. You are able to click on a question and have them answer in a video. “Mexico Under Siege” is a fantastic way to use multimedia. It really enriched the experience.

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