I chose to analyze two nautically-themed feature pieces that I feel exemplify effective multimedia use, albeit in very different ways.
Chasing Bayla was published in the Boston Globe and is a Pulitzer Prize winning article written by Sarah Schweitzer. It provided information on the main subject, Michael Moore, and the whale he was trying to save, Bayla. The article is long-form and in-depth with subtle, incorporated multimedia. Animated cartoon pictures accompany the story, but the animations are subtle and the overall effect is thoughtful, not tacky. It adds interest to the story and helps to keep the reader engaged despite the length of the story. I felt as though the unique use of multimedia added to the story and made the article stand out and I would like to incorporate something similar into my own feature story. Although the article was long, it was engaging and forged an emotional connection with readers which is an important element of feature stories.
A Game of Shark and Minnow by Jeff Himmelman is accompanied by photographs and video by Ashley Gilbertson. The story appeared in The New York Times on 27 October 2015. This article used multimedia in a less subtle way than Chasing Bayla. As the reader scrolls through the article, some sections are video and others are animated infographics complete with sound. Although it was difficult to navigate at first, once I became accustom to the multimedia, I began to appreciate it more. The videos made the article seem more interactive and the infographics were clean, organized and added to the article as opposed to merely regurgitating information. The text-only portion of the article is interspersed throughout different sections of multimedia. Overall, it is an interesting and unique use of multimedia that I have not seen in all other journalism.
I do not think that I have the technical skills to create this type of multimedia in my own stories, but I can clearly see that video, images and some audio, adds depth to feature stories. When executed tactfully, multimedia keeps the reader engaged and adds impact to the message that the article is conveying.