The power of pictures
This week, my class watched a multimedia story called A Thousand More that profiled a young boy named Philly and his struggle with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It is ultimately a story of a family’s love and determination and illustrates how multimedia can strike an emotional chord with audiences. The 13 minute film sparked both laughter and tears throughout the lecture hall. Would it have had the same effect if the story was in print? My guess is no. Pictures have power.
After watching such an amazing multimedia piece I set out to find another intense story with a visual focus. I remembered reading The Final Salute a few years ago. This Pulitzer Prize winning story chronicles the work of Maj. Steve Beck as he notifies families of their fallen loved ones.
They are the troops that nobody wants to see, carrying a message that nobody wants to hear. It begins with a knock at the door.
The Final Salute story package includes a lengthy story with powerful quotes and detail, an audio slide show, video and a photo essay.
Without the multimedia aspect of this award winning journalism, the story would not have had such a lasting impact. It would simply be words on a page. I read this story a few years ago and it took seeing one picture from the series to spark my memory. Pictures are powerful.
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