The New York Times’ multimedia “Gun Country” article was successful in fulfilling basic journalistic qualities, such as telling all (or a variation) sides of story, having a diverse representation of voices, cohesive storytelling and narration to name a few.
I am first going to speak about each individual story and what I liked or disliked about the photographs, narration, use of natural sound (or lack there of), the aid of music and its contribution to the narration of the story and the overall cohesive nature of the stories.
First up was “Between Heartbeats,” which made great use of music to narrate the piece emotionally, allowing the audience to really connect with the story. However, with the magnitude of emotions being shared, I think a different visual component would have evoked the visual and verbal tension that came as a result of the narrator’s feelings.
Next came “Father Language,” which in my opinion, did not open strongly. The story could have used more natural sound in the beginning to engage the audience more. The later portion of the piece executed a perfect build up with natural sound to a very emotionally celebratory, which delightfully took me by surprise.
After came “Street Life,” which I found particularly captivating, in it’s presentation of the narrator’s story. My first observation was of the opening scene, which had a great verbal and visual connection. The musical narration was also executed quite well, as it added a physical sense of discomfort and eeriness. The photos used in the piece acted as a second narrator, giving the audience introspection into the narrator’s life, neighborhood, and living conditions.
“The Awakening” followed, which I found interesting for matters of courageousness on behalf of the narrator. This story had had a nice opening, making use of natural sound elements that really captured the audience’s attention. However, as much of a success as the opening was the remainder of the story, especially the photos, did not capture and maintain my attention.
Following “The Awakening,” was “Never Asleep,” which was quite the emotionally traumatizing piece. It had great opening photos that evoked a very dark and shadowy presence, which worked especially well with the verbal narration of the story.
Second to last was “The War Here,” which used visual imagery of the funeral, obituaries, “R.I.P.” signs and t-shirts to convey the narrator’s story. Also, the music worked exceptionally well with the emotional undertone of the story.
Lastly was, “Alone in the Middle,” which to be quite honest, did not capture my attention much. The story was visually underwhelming and the verbal narration did not capture my attention much more. I think the story could have benefited from stronger photos, which could have potentially sustained the audience’s attention for a bit longer.
The thing that I enjoyed the most of this multimedia piece was the variety of narratives being shared, the large, vivid and captivating images, and the simplicity in which the story could be changed.
I would really like to create a piece resembling the platform of this one, perhaps on a hot topic, like same-sex marriage, abortion, health care, and more.