We’ve been hard at work these past few months on an ambitious series about the 1910 forest fires that consumed huge swaths of the Inland Northwest. The series, titled Flame and Ruin: The fires of 1910, launched Sunday, and I encourage you to explore it. It’s a treat for history buffs and lovers of the outdoors.
My favorite parts of the online package are the above video scripted by Jim Kershner and produced by Colin Mulvany and a then-and-now presentation inspired by the New York Times featuring photographs by Christopher Anderson and a Django+jQuery app by Ryan Pitts and Mike Tigas.
But I certainly don’t want to overlook the reporting and writing that went into this package. I especially recommend Jim Kershner’s opening narrative and Becky Kramer’s story about Ed Pulaski, the tunnel in which he saved his fire crew, and that tunnel’s discovery in 1979. It runs Tuesday and will be found on the main page of the special series.
July 1, 2009 update: I’m aware that the spokesman.com videos I’ve embedded aren’t playing. I’m in touch with the admin to see what’s happening.
We (as co-workers other than me) debuted a new feature on spokesman.com videos today: video embedding.
To grab the code on any Spokesman-Review video, just click the <> button in the lower right of the player, click “copy code,” then paste on your blog or elsewhere.
This is a great step forward in sharing the multimedia talents of Spokesman-Review photographers and videographers. We get our content out there, and we get the clicks. But why should you care? Well…
I didn’t go to Chicago last week for UNITY. If you’re unfamiliar with this event, Wendi C. Thomas of the Memphis Commercial Appeal sums it up as “the every-four-years convening of the ethnic minority journalist groups.”
But I did get a taste from the Internet.
Most of what I saw came from 10,000 Words, who was there blogging. And we’re not talking about mere summaries of panel discussions. If you’re new to multimedia on the Web, you need to check out Mark Luckie’s tip sheets for video and audio. Also, check out the impressive project he knocked out in 48 hours.
From Mark’s blog and the Commerical Appeal article, I sense that UNITY was the conference to attend for journalists hoping to stay invigorated during these troubling times. A quote from a recent journalism grad in Thomas’ story tells me everything I need to keep in mind:
“I’d rather have a roller-coaster marriage with journalism, filled with love and passion, than an empty relationship in law, PR or business, where there is money, but no sparks,” wrote (Angel) Jennings, a recent graduate of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, in an edition of UNITY NEWS.
Oh, and did I mention that Barack Obama made an appearance fresh off his overseas tour?
This via cyberjournalist: An interactive map of newspaper layoffs and buyouts this year at graphicdesignr.net. The listed total is more than 4,880. You can also find one for 2007, which includes the cuts at my newspaper, The Spokesman-Review.
Two points: First, this map is more affecting than the daily reports on Romanesko or a simple number. Which is another example of why multimedia just makes information crackle.
My news design background is scantier, limited to the B section and wire pages at the S-R and a few A1 design shifts at the Missourian. But I would love to develop skills and a portfolio like Smith’s. It’s one big way I can help avoid becoming part of her next map.
At right, one of my better page one efforts.
There’s an astounding investigative piece in the New York Times today about who the Pentagon used the analysts hired by TV networks to control the messages about military affairs in the post-Sept. 11 world.
In many cases, David Barstow documents, these retired officers echoed Pentagon talking points on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and other networks. In exchange for their allegiance, the analysts were given royal treatment at the Pentagon, special tours in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay, and extensive access to contacts within the military. As many of the analysts received income from firms involved in military contracting, such contacts were likely quite lucrative.
It’s a compelling story with a good outrage factor. But the Times also did a tremendous job putting together multimedia to accompany it. (Click here to check it out.)
I like that the presentation, divided into three chapters, forms a narrative. Occasionally, flash-based presentations leave me trying to piece together a story from linked video, audio and documents. Here, David Barstow walks viewers through one part of his story: the Pentagon’s response to so-called Generals’ Revolt against then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Narrated by Barstow, the piece combines static images, video, audio and documents to good effect.
I would love to be able to pull this kind of project off someday.