Teaching Examples

NPPA – BOP winners: Audio slideshows, News category
March 24, 2007, 10:34 pm
Filed under: audio, online, photojournalism, slideshows

I found the winners from the big sites disappointing.

News, large affiliated sites

On the Border, ‘There’s Always a Hole’ (washingtonpost.com)
I don’t like the distracting wind noise in the audio. I was impressed by a desert photo and the last two pictures, which made me think about an aspect of this familiar story (illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border) in a new way.

Deportation Flights Ferry Immigrants Home (washingtonpost.com)
I felt like part of the story was missing here. I guess I’m not sure what all these men have done to be deported.

These two winners from WaPo play in a template designed by the talented Nelson Hsu (who also designed Being a Black Man), rather than the popular Soundslides template. The Hsu design works well and fits nicely on my 1024 x 768 screen. It’s got integrated advertising, which I’m sure is necessary.

The Reach of War, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines in Iraq (The New York Times)
This story is just too long. Everything about it is too long.

News, smaller affiliated sites

Land of Opportunity / Dashed Dreams (Roanoke.com)
Wow! This audio transported me to a village in Mexico! The photos captivated me in every way, and the nat sound was so well recorded and so well edited, I did not mind for even one second that there was a voiceover. But what is going on with the credits in this Soundslides? Photojournalist Josh Meltzer has a credit, but for the narration, audio and production, nothing. I also want to see editors start including a date on every slideshow. Why do so many people leave out the date and the proper credits?

Free at Last (The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Fantastic on-the-scene photo and audio work — this is a hat trick, and Will Yurman wins a deep, deep bow from me. I found the last third of the slideshow to be redundant within itself, but up until then, the mastery on display made me gasp.

Land of Opportunity / English School (Roanoke.com)
Another one from Josh Meltzer, full of adorable little kids. No narration. Too long.

(HM) My War (The Palm Beach Post)
Impressive intro on this three-part purpose-built package (what are now called “chaptered Soundslides”). On the splash page that follows, though, I ought to get more than three tiny-face mug shots and the names of the men in them. I need some kind of teaser, some lure, to make me want to click and go inside. When I roll over and get nothing, I feel like there’s not going to be anything special. I don’t know which one to choose — so I choose none. A missed opportunity.

The interactive “call to action”

If there’s only one thing I can do on the screen (e.g., “Press to Play”), then this is no big deal. But if you give me three things, you’ve got to differentiate them for me. Why would I click one soldier instead of the other two? Give me a reason. I’m sure their three stories are different. Tell me HOW they differ. Then I’ll know which one to click first. If I like it, maybe I’ll click another.

See more winners.

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