Check out the project that I worked on with Mike Balducci here.



There are some stories that are just better told through video. The New York Times posted a video about the ancient practice of voodoo. Many people do not understand voodoo and believe that it involves sticking a doll with pins. In actuality many Hatian-Americans (mainly in NY) practice voodoo and see it as a spiritual and healing ritual. I enjoyed the video because it paints this ancient practice in a different light. On the video people are seen singing and dancing in a room full of candles. The colors of their dresses and shirts are so colorful and vibrant in the video. The sounds set the stage and shows the viewer that there is more to voodoo than many people think. The video transitioned very smoothly and talking heads did not appear on the screen for more than a few moments. I think that this story was told through video because once you see these people’s faces and their dancing it is apparent that this sacred tradition is more than what others may coin as “witchcraft”. I wonder if the makers of the video used Flash to edit it. This is a great example of good video taking.

Let’s face it – pictures are a powerful medium in journalism. Photos have the ability to give color to a news story and place the reader wherever the story takes place. BBC News does a “Week in pictures” feature each week. The feature includes ten photos that tell the weeks events in photo form. There is a small amount of text that explain the photo. I like this feature series because it makes news accessible to all types of people. A teacher could show this to a classroom of middle school children and they may comprehend it better than if they had to read through a lengthy news story. I also like this feature because it is a quick way to get news on the go when a reader may not have time to read a bunch of news stories. In addition to the Week in Pictures feature, the BBC also does a Day in Pictures as well. Check out a screenshot of the feature below on the BBC’s website.

View Brandi and Melissa’s revised video project here.

Click here for Katie and Brandi’s Soundslides project

I love a good love story and the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is the epitome of a fairy tale romance. This week I aimed to find interactive features showing what is to expect on the wedding day. The first link that I found was on the Washington Post website. The Post has a section dedicated to the royal wedding and I clicked on a link to another page that showed wedding memorabilia. You would be astonished how many souvenirs and memorabilia have been made for this wedding! From Ipod Apps to mugs to pillows and even a copy of Kate’s engagement ring are on display at various shops in London. According to the Post, the wedding is estimated to provide a $1 billion jolt to the British economy. See a screen shot of the photo gallery below or view the entire show here.


I also found an interactive wedding map on The Royal Parks website. The map shows the procession route and provides those who wish to see William and Kate go by with refreshment and restroom points. See a screen shot of the map below.


I.B.M.’s Watson

Wanna feel like a dummy? Check out this interactive feature from the NYT about I.B.M.’s smart computer, Watson. Sure I heard about this “super computer” competing against top scoring contestants on Jeopardy but I did not truly know what this computer was all about until I saw this interactive feature. The package includes an article about how Watson came to be, a video explaining how Watson works and even a multimedia challenge that pits the reader against Watson in a Jeopardy similar challenge. I liked this feature because of the work that went into it. Readers not only like to read about a new gadget or idea they want to see it and even compete against it. It brings the reader into the action and makes the package more well rounded. I also liked the easiness to toggle between gaming, reading and viewing the video. Sometimes these interactive games can cause your computer to run at snail speed but this one was of high quality. I am guessing that Flash was used to make the game portion of the feature but I am not entirely sure.

Above: a view of the interactive game where the contestant competes against Watson.