2012 Eyes of History: New Media Contest: Multimedia Package: Simple


America’s Dead Sea
In the desert of southern California sits one of the worst environmental sites in America, a former tourist destination that has turned into a toxic soup: the Salton Sea.

Jim Lo Scalzo
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Wise: I think this really shows what good editing can do. Nice to see such a creative approach. Feels fresh. So different in approach to serious topic matter. Poetic approach. It’s a work of art.

Baylen: It’s an experience they’re trying to give us. THe text below really helped me. There’s lingering on the images. I’m taking the information he’s giving me and I’m experiencing it for myself. I really liked this piece. Love the irony of what was expected and what we’re seeing now. Super-lyrical.

Yurman: Love how the video doesn’t repeat the text. It’s a wonderful solution to the problem of telling the story. Thought it was beautifully crafted. I think what sells it to me is that the video and the text are a perfect marriage of medium.

Fresh, creative, poetic and ironic approach to a serious subject matter. It is a work of art and an experience. The video and text are a perfect marriage of medium, complementing each other well instead of being redundant.

Laughs for Islam
The Washington Post
This entertaining and thought-provoking documentary captures dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims as the four comedians set up “Ask a Muslim” and “Name that Religion” booths in various cities. It intersperses parts of their stand-up routines with footage about the country’s attitudes toward Muslims. The package features a Q&A with each of the comedians and extra video clips that complement the widescreen video experience.

Video: Ben de la Cruz, Alexandra Garcia
Illustration, Design and Development: Grace Koerber
Motion: Sohail al-Jamea
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Wise: Refreshing. Feels fresh. So different in approach to serious topic matter. Well executed. Production values are high and they aren’t superfluous. The story had lots of surprises. I would love to see more humor in the storytelling that is done these days, and I’d really like to applaud how they did that.

Baylen: Funny but serious. Really enjoyed. Serious, funny, charming. Feels slick and it has content. It’s funny. It’s well-edited. There’s not a part I would take out. The sound is incredible. Holds my attention. Lots of great voices. Interesting way to weave the story line between the voices.

Yurman: Great story. Fun watching it more than once. The story always flowed for me.

Different, funny approach to a serious subject matter. The story had lots of surprises and it was well-edited. The sound is incredible with lots of great voices. It was fun watching it more than once and flowed all the way through.

Suicide By Cop
A U.S. soldier suffered a mild traumatic brain injury while serving in Iraq. A year later, he piled an armload of guns into his pickup and led police on a high-speed chase across North Dakota. One brave trooper talked him down and saved his life.

Coburn Dukehart, Producer and Reporter (entrant)
Daniel Zwerdling, Producer and Reporter
John W. Poole, Photographer
Katie Hayes Luke, Photographer
Nelson Hsu, Interactive Designer
Alicia Cypress, Web Editor
Keith Jenkins, Supervising Producer
Susanne Reber, Supervising Producer
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Wise: Map on the side bothered me. I don’t think it was effective. It could have been solved easily by showing time elapsing on a clock on the left. I think if you’re going to use the map, then use it. I want to know more about the cop and why she acts the way she does. In some ways I like that I don’t get those answers in the video.

Baylen: Really loved. So much of it is driven by the cop car video. The interview with the woman who talks him down is incredible. Love use of graphic on the side to bring you through a long, drawn-out journey. I did wonder a little bit why they didn’t do more with the photography of the guy now. You see him in the video, beautiful portraiture, never hear his voice. It’s an incredible story. Even now after I’ve seen the story a couple of times, I still feel emotional about it. I loved the graphic on the side and how it started to move me. I think the police officer they chose, using her voice, was incredible. I’m drawn to the character.

Yurman: Really compelling. I liked the map as a reference. I thought it was a great story and a nice use of the visuals they had. The story, the chase, the ending was so compelling. This was a really compelling story and the cop was an especially good character. The video had beautiful portraiture. However, it felt like it dragged a bit in the beginning and it may have been helpful to include video interviews to break up some of the photos that looked the same.

The Hunt
The Washington Post
The search that ended May 1 with bullets to Osama bin Laden’s head and chest was the result of a new approach to finding an elusive target. Published just five days after bin Laden was killed, “The Hunt” covers the full decade of the hunt for the world’s most notorious terrorist: the failures, the near-misses, the dead periods, and now the success, recalled by sources who could only tell their story after the death of the world’s most notorious terrorist.
An innovative video timeline introduces the project. Interviews with analysts and policy-makers are mixed with unique motion graphics timeline highlighting the most important successes and missteps of the search. The video ends with twitter users breaking the news that bin Laden has been captured. The project continues with a unique online layout in five chapters, each augmented with different multimedia offerings.

Producer: Alexandra Garcia
Video editing and shooting: Alexandra Garcia and Ben de la Cruz
Writing and reporting: Marc Fisher, Ian Shapira and Peter Finn
Motion graphics: Sohail Al-Jamea
Interactive design: Grace Koerber
Photo research: Dee Swann and Nick Kirkpatrick
Video shooting and research: AJ Chavar
Video research: Akira Hakuta, Jayne Orenstein, Tucker Walsh, Jason Aldag and Jonathan Forsythe
Cartography: Laris Karklis and Gene Thorp
Interactive producer: Sam Sanders
Executive producers: Steven King and Cory Haik
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Wise: Not sure if it stands the test. I think the intro was pretty effective. But we have this climax building up to the death, and then it felt climactic at the end. Not sure if that was because of the music, but maybe the music should have changed shape. But there’s a lot more to this package than this video. You could browse your way through it. Great writing for the web. This is a project where the reporting was done over ten years. It is pretty digestible but at the same time feels overwhelming.

Baylen: Incredible body of work. I went through the package and felt like they really broke it down through so many different ways. It was easy for me to get through it. Loved Tora Bora graphic. It’s a huge story and the edit is very digestible for me in this format. For me I felt like I wanted to keep digging. The experience going through this project was very digestible and manageable. It’s such an enormous body of work, so it feels weird it’s an HM.

Yurman: You could watch the intro and be done. Or if you care, you can start digging. I like the chapter titles.

This is an incredible body of work with years of reporting behind it. There is a lot of content but it’s pretty digestible and easy to navigate through. However, it feels like it ends in climax instead of resolution.

America’s Child Death Shame

Design: Mark Bryson
Production: Franz Strasser, Bill McKenna, Lucy Rodgers and Luke Ward
Correspondent: Natalia Antelava
Cinematographer; Franz Strasser
Editing: Bill McKenna and Franz Strasser
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Wise: Thought it was effective storytelling. Stylistically deviates from other pieces we’re seeing. The story is extremely heartbreaking, but the style is a little off-putting. I think it works. As an American audience, we usually see these newscasts individually and it’s effective to see these together. Visually this is so much like a television broadcast.

Baylen: Seeing reporter walking down the street felt weird. Because the content is so heartbreaking, it’s a great story, the style didn’t bother me. It’s hard to deny the content in this. It’s very digestible.

Yurman: I thought it felt sensationalism. It was mostly the introduction that annoyed me.

Effective, compelling, heartbreaking storytelling but the style is a little off-putting, especially with the reporter walking down the street.