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A few of my favorite (and least favorite) news site multimedia stories

April 12, 2011 1 comment

Three Favorites News Site Multimedia Stories

Last year, I came across what is probably my favorite multimedia news story. Produced by The Denver Post in 2009, it’s a feature on American soldier Ian Fisher, telling the story of his journey from a high school in Coloradoto his tour of duty in Iraq. Some of the multimedia is a bit ahead of its time, like its scrollable text pages for the actual story section (you flip through the pages like a book or magazine, which in 2009 was sort of awesome before the iPad). The photo and video sections are outstanding, too. Each has multiple chapters that tell Fisher’s story visually. And it goes even further with some extras, such as video outtakes and postcards from Iraq.

The L.A. Times’ feature on President Obama’s first 100 days in office stands out as a piece that’s also very visually striking. Here’s the overview: “A week before the 2008 election, we asked commuters what they expected from the new president. Here are their initial thoughts and their current views. Times editorial page editor Jim Newton puts the first 100 days in perspective.” When you scroll over each person, the video begins, giving the whole project a really cool effect. Above the videos are numbers from 1 to 100, with each telling what President Obama did each day in office. It all seems kind of simple, but it really gives a voice to the newspapers’ audience.

Lastly, the Las Vegas Sun has this multimedia feature from 2008 that tells/shows the history of Las Vegas. It’s a bit dated now (just three years later), but some of the standouts include: a virtual, panoramic tour of Vegas’ classic neon signs (“Neon Boneyard” shown to the right), an 11-part history, entertainer profiles, a casino map (as you choose different decades, buildings will pop-up or disappear or be replaced), and video of building implosions. It’s incredibly extensive.

Two”Bad” (They Could Use Some Improvin’) News Site Multimedia Stories

  • L.A. Times’ feature on the “Hollywood Star Walk.” It’s nicely done, but they really wasted their resources on this?
  • And here’s the Boston Globe’s special report on bullying. I’m guessing the content is excellent, but the main page of the special report is hideous. Plan, boring, uneven, uninviting, and topped off by an awkward video still. Yuck.
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COM495: Multimedia Critique

These projects are supposed to show some elements of photo/audio slideshows, though I strayed a bit.

First up is The Denver Post’s outstanding feature on the journey of Ian Fisher, an American soldier. Template? Awesome, eye-catching, and fun. Photography? Terrific. Extras? Really cool to have.

But the best part is “The Story” section (below). While you can choose a scrollable text page, you can flip through the pages just like a book or magazine. One of my favorite journalism pieces I’ve read/seen/watched/clicked all year.

Next I decided to compare and contrast two graffiti projects I found. In my opinion, while they’re both great ideas, one definitely works a lot better than the other.

1. This is from back in May of 2008, but it’s a panorama of some graffiti underneath the Las Vegas Strip. It’s from The Las Vegas Sun, which produces some great interactive projects (like this one other one I found, on the history of The Strip). However, this panorama doesn’t work for me. It gets boring fast and the images aren’t striking enough.


2. On the other hand, this thing is amazing. From cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, you can see graffiti over several of years (the layering is such a great idea). I could easily spend hours just looking through it all.

And lastly, this interactive map from The L.A. Times shows chronology of gay marriage in the United States. Easy to use and it’s really nice how you can roll over states and see information.