Final Project Examples from Newsworks.org

NewsWorks.org is the online home of WHYY News. The web site covers the Philadelphia region, Delaware and South Jersey, with a focus on regional issues, neighborhoods, health and science, and arts. It launched on Nov. 15, 2010.

Recent Newsworks.org multimedia feature stories:

1.Igniting a passion for paddling
Profile of Philadelphia Canoe Club
(Consists of 171 words, 3:42 video, and a Google map)

2. Brothers are sweet on tradition
Story about Berley brothers who make clear toy candy
(Consists of 331 words, one photo, and 2:02 audio slide show)

3. Willing hands
Story about volunteer organization that feeds and shelters homeless families
(Consists of 521 words, one photo, and 4:36 audio slide show)

4. Roller derby’s local legends
Story about the Penn Jersey Roller Derby League
(Consists of 146 words, one photo and 1:49 video)

In Class Assignment:

With your partner:

-Read, listen, watch, study three of the four features above.

-Consider each using the specific criteria for your final project. Discuss each with your partner.

-Then pick one of the stories and answer the following in writing in the comment field below:

1. What is the story? (1 sentence)
2. How did the journalist report this story? What did she research? Who did she interview? What events or locations did she visit? (2 to 4 sentences)
3. Do you think the multimedia format used is the best way to tell this story? Why or why not? (3 sentences)
4. Is this a compelling story? Why or why not? (1 to 3 sentences)
5. Is there any way this feature could be improved? If so, how? (2 to 3 sentences)

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16 Responses to Final Project Examples from Newsworks.org

  1. LE & JP says:

    The story is about two brothers who make clear toy candy and how they live the the American Dream.
    The journalist let the two brothers talk about how they operate their business. She researched the history of their family and clear toy candy. She interviewed the Berley brothers. She visited their store.
    The journalist should have used a video to portray the story, not just an audio slideshow. It would have been more interesting to see how exactly the candy was made, rather than the tools they use to make it.
    The story is interesting but I dont think it would make news headlines. Toy candy is not exactly an attention grabber!
    Yes. She should show, not tell.

  2. Two brothers who own a candy shop and are trying to keep the tradition of “glass candy” going. Used text to describe the history of the brothers and the candy making technique. Also used an audio slideshow with the brothers taking us through the shop and explaining how everything works and why. The use of the multimedia worked well with the pictures because as the brothers described a tool or candy they had a picture up that showed the details. This is a compelling story. It explains how two brothers in the modern day are taking an old fashion way to make candies and bringing it into todays world. Overall it was a good feature. The text and multimedia worked well together. The only improvement we suggest is a little more explanation of the history of the candies and how they got into the tradition.

    S.A and K.G

  3. S.S. and K.V. says:

    1. What is the story?
    A local shelter program created by churches.
    2. How did the journalist report this story? What did she research? Who did she interview? What events or locations did she visit?
    She used an audio slideshow to focus on a specific family that was in need of the shelter. She researched the shelter and the congregations that support it and who it has helped. She interviewed the volunteers who helped provide food and activities at night and a success story of a woman who used the shelter program and is now back on her feet. She visited one of the congregations that was hosting people for the night.
    3. Do you think the multimedia format used is the best way to tell this story? Why or why not?
    Yes it provided appropriate visuals for the reader. You saw real life people affected by homelessness and how this program is helping them.
    4. Is this a compelling story? Why or why not?
    Yes because its not just a local issue and it is a way for people who need it to find out about the program.
    5. Is there any way this feature could be improved? If so, how?
    More compelling images. Add more focused and striking images to keep our interest.

  4. Colleen says:

    1) Brothers are sweet on tradition.
    2)The journalist chose to do audio slide show with the interviewer’s voice and pictures. She researched the history of the glass candy. She interviewed the store owners. She visited the store.
    3) Yes, it was the best format. The pictures showed all the intricate details of the candy and store. Without pictures and the interviewer’s voice, the audience would have not gotten the full effect of the story.
    4) It is a very interesting story, but not really compelling. It is more of a feature story and showed something that has been around for decades.
    5) Interviewing the customers would have been a helpful contribution to the story. It would have showed feedback on the business so the story would hold more than one aspect.

    -CM, LF, KP

  5. The story is about the Philadelphia Canoe Club and how the club has survived since the 18th century. The journalist interviewed members of the club and researched the area of the club’s location. She attended one of the club’s weekly meeting also. The multimedia was effective for this story. The photos and video combo provided useful information and a good history of the club and what they do today. This story was not too compelling unless you have a passion for paddling. The video should be shorter and could have included views from the canoe out on the water. Overall, the story was put together well.
    -AH and RS

  6. DP,JH says:

    The story we chose is, Brothers are sweet on tradition.

    The Journalist report this story by audio slideshow.

    He researched the Berley brothers, by following through out their day of making candy.

    He visited the Franklin fountain, the place where the Berley brothers work and owned.

    We think it was a good story to tell,because it had voice and pictures to follow along with.
    The history of aspect of the story was interesting,but it was not compelling journalism. The story could of had more point of view, from customers and other coworkers.

  7. Michelle & Phil says:

    1. The story is the reunion of the roller derby legends and it tlaks about what Roller derby is and profiles some of the particpants.
    2. It is reported by a news oriented video with voice over and sound bite, complete with text and a photo.
    3. Yes because the video captures the active movement of the roller skaters which demonstartes the sport. The text and photo give further detail and explanation to pull the story together.
    4. The story is compelling mainly because of the video capturing the unusual elements of the activity of roller derby. The video is placed above the text making it become the first thing a user sees and therefore grabs their attention. The lede of the text is not very good, but the video makes up for it.
    5. The lede of the text could be much stronger. The main topic of the story is not emphasized enough. It does not go into very much detail about the reunion, but still succeeds in explaining what roller derby is and what kind of people have interest in it.

  8. Jackie, Lauren, Mou Lan says:

    1. The story is about a volunteering organization (The Interfaith Hospitality Network of Northwest Philadelphia) taking care of the homeless.

    2. She interviewed the homeless families that came in for shelter and food, and focused on one family in particular who now works as a security guard there. She compiled an audio slide show to report her story. She observed the shelter and reported about how the establishments run and the families that go there.

    3. We don’t think the slideshow was as compelling as a video would have been. We think if she captured the child and his mom in motion the story would have come across better.

    4. Yes, it’s compelling because it makes people aware of local families who are homeless and the kind of life they live. It also spreads awareness and urges people to volunteer.

    5. We feel it would be improved if the audio was accompanied by video rather than photos. It would have made the story more moving.

  9. D.A. and M.G. says:

    The story is about the newer League members meeting the hall of fame members of the Penn Jersey Roller Derby League. They visited the warehouse in North Philly where the reunion was held. The legendary “Queen of Mean” Judy Sowinski was interviewed along with current novice members who were present at the event. The video was appropriate for the story because it showed the members and it showed how the hall of famers interacted with the newer members. Video was a good choice because this story lent itself to a visual presentation of the event and how it works. (it was cool seeing the old footage too) It wasn’t the most exciting story but it was interesting to see with the video, especially the diversity of the members. The rule of thirds and five shot rules are followed well in the video. This feature could be improved by the article being a little longer and more detailed. There could be more links too(only the League is linked to).

  10. Don Woods says:

    BW and DW

    -It is a spotlight on Judy Sowinski and the roller derby team she coaches.
    -She reports the story by taking a video of the roller derby practice and interviewed the coach and a skater, Deborah Carney. She visited the Penn Derby Roller League for information.
    -Yes, because roller derby is a very action oriented event. To properly do it justice video must be taken. It’s the only way to get one’s head around it.
    -The topic of roller derby is interesting. It’s a sport you don’t see much or take very seriously. The execution though was lacking. We don’t have a bigger appreciation of the sport after reading and watching the article.
    -Needs more context in the roller derby world and the reasons why the legends should be recognized. Seeing a game in action would help too.

  11. Rescue Me says:

    J.M and B.W
    1. The story is about the Penn Jersey Roller Derby League in North Philly and it highlights a woman’s story, Sowinski, from player to coach.
    2. It is featured by the convergence of different types of profiling including text, voice-over, video footage and the woman interviewed while featuring her story.
    3. This works very well because the different techniques give different perspective which allows the viewer/reader to not get bored. The featuring of the action in the players practicing and is better than just reading about it because we actually get to see it. The video also shows the Sowinski’s story from player to coach, which is more compelling than if we were just reading it. The author interviewed Sowinski and her team. She actually went to the facility and their practice.
    4. It is a compelling story because its not your typical story, roller derby. It describes Sowinski doing something she loves to do and passing it on to others.
    5. There could have been more pictures added to the story to make it better. Also, there should have been a better hook to draw readers in. There also should have been more action, more shots of the roller derby practice. Lastly, they need to focus more on why she is so important.

  12. yankeesfan98 says:

    CSS & CLW

    – The story features the Berley Brothers, two brothers who create toy candy for a living.
    – She created an audio slideshow. The pictures detail the processes, location, and historic tradition of the candy shop. She interviewed both brothers who gave you an internal perspective of the century-old shop
    – I would’ve liked to have seen video. The still shots can only tell so much, where actual video would tell a better story. I want to see people talking, the workers, actually pouring the sugar, but the pictures do give you a solid understanding of what goes on at the Franklin Fountain.
    – This is a compelling story. This type of store is different, and its historic and traditional feel adds an element you would not see in many other “store features.”
    – I would like to see interviews of the customers. It’s nice to see the processes, but do people come? What do they think of the store? I want to see video too. We both agree it would add to the story.

  13. AY & TB

    1. Six years ago, Eric Berley and his brother, Ryan, opened Franklin Fountain, an old-time ice cream and soda shop near Penn’s Landing. They bought the confectionary store next to the ice cream parlor and started making clear-toy candies.
    2. The journalist used an audio slideshow and a written report. The majority of her information came from the two brothers. She went to the confectionary shop and ice cream parlor.
    3. We thought a video would have been a better way to tell the story. It would been cool to see them actually pour the candy and remove it from the mold. Also, we liked how some of the other stories used video.
    4. Yes, it’s an interesting human interest story. The brothers have a passion for old time sweets and it’s cool how they are actually bring that passion to life.
    5. Maybe they could have mixed audio and video on the slideshow. It would have been nice to learn more about the brothers themselves.

  14. CW and TA says:

    This story was about Roller Derby and some of its founding lady members. They put it as sort of a news package by commentating along with personal interviews and live video of the skaters. She researched the time line of roller derby from the 50’s until the present. Judy Sowinski was interviewed along with a few other females. She visited an actual practice at a warehouse where Sowinski still coaches today. Multimedia is the best was to relay this topic because seeing Sowinski in action around the derby rink makes the story much more interesting. This story may be compelling to someone interested in roller derby, but to a main stream audience it may not spark an interest or attention. Ways to improve could be to let the viewer know if there is a big following in the surrounding area and how much attention roller derby receives. More photos and interviews with other roller derby skaters could also add more depth to the story.

  15. 1. The Philadelphia Canoe Club was established in 1905 and is one of the oldest canoeing clubs in the country. The club has 140 canoeists and kayakers.

    2. She wrote 171 words, 3:42 of video a google map. She researched the canoe club, interviewed members and commodores, gathered footage and photos and visited the club that is tucked away behind the bustling SEPTA depot on Ridge Avenue in between Manayunk and East Falls in Philadelphia.

    3. We believe that it was used in the best way to tell the story because it continuously kept you interested, showed you action clips, showed you how excited the members were about the club and how much it meant to them. It explained PCC’s purpose as well as their passion.

    4. We feel that it was not a compelling story but the way that she presented the topic made it interesting and informative. She captured what the PCC is all about and showed her viewers footage, pictures and interviews that really kept your attention and captured the true essence of what PCC is.

    5. We think the quality of the footage was pretty decent and they had some very good cinematography, but it would have been more inviting if we had more (sean’s words) “action clips” and (ashley’s words) “water shots”. But other than that it was pretty decent.

  16. jodialexis says:

    1. The story is about two brothers, Eric and Ryan Berley who opened Franklin Fountain, an old-fashion candy and soda shop near Penn’s Landing. The two needed more space so they bought Shane Confectionary next door, which was a candy store run by the Shane family since 1911. The pair now makes candy in iron molds in the traditional way that it was made almost 100 years ago.
    2. The journalist reported the story through an audio slide show, one photo, and a short article. She researched the two brothers and the history of candy making. She only interviewed Eric and Ryan Berley. She visitied the store.
    3. We think she should have created a video to go along with the audio. It would have been better able to capture the art of candy making as well as the difficulties that go into the process instead of the audio slideshow that was used.
    4. We think it was a compelling story because it was not only about candy-making but also about family and American traditions being kept alive.
    5. The story could have been improved if the journalist used a video with audio instead of just a slideshow to capture the story. Another way would be for the owners to have a website or phone number so that readers can buy the candy without having to actually visit the store. It would increase their business a lot more.

    JK & WS

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