W10-Critique of Coverage about Midterm

As an international student, I’m not quite familiar with the Midterm Election, many digital works with cool graphs seem a little hard for and cannot grab me at a first glance, and my favorite coverage is a picture journalism by The New York Times.


There are 103 photos capturing important moments and people’s feelings from Florida to California, Arizona to Virginia. The timeline of the pictures is from Nov. 7 to Nov. 2, with one or two sentences to explain each picture. It gives me a comprehensive image of the Midterm Election, including supporters campaign seriously, vote with upset, celebrate excitedly, how candidates rallied with voters and so on.

All the pictures are beautiful. The lighting is good. And I can see cameramen made adequate preparation. They could capture the dynamic moments because they know what would happen next.

Besides, I really appreciate they mainly focused on ordinary voters but not candidates to show average Americans’ feelings in the election. In many pictures about rally, they just shot the back of well-know people, like senator candidates, governor candidates, President Trump and Former President Obama, and focused on the expressions and gestures of voters.



W11-Critique of “All Work. No Pay.”

I think “All Work. No Pay.” is a great work. It uncovered a conspiracy and fought for the marginal group——drug offenders in rehabs. Although these people made some mistake, they still have their legal rights.

There is some good stuff, but I don’t think its digital part is very strong. The comic on Instagram largely lower the seriousness, but generally it is a good try to publish serious news on Instagram and reach more readers. I think they should put a link to the website of the story on Instagram.


As for the website, the front page is vivid. The background is the chicken plant in black and white filter, showing where the story happened. And there is a man’s back in the middle. His yellow overall strongly contrasts with the dark background, conveying the message that it is a sad story.

The short film of a defendant’s desperate face is so real and impressive. The pictures are good, showing the outlook of the rehab facilities. However, it would be more convincing if they were able to shoot the horrible working environment inside the factories. I think the journalist might have difficulties to do that.

I think the strong part of this work is its comprehensive investigation. By interviewing scores of former participants, employees, court officials and so on, the journalists of the Reveal totally unearthed the story and narrate it clearly to the public. I want to emphasize “former” here. I think it is a good strategy when taking investigation. Normally, the current participants do not want to talk worrying about jeopardizing their own profits, but the former participants are more likely to talk.

W10-Critique of ” The Wall”

In a news producer’s perspective, I think “The Wall” is a quite good work. I can see the hard work by the team. They have produced the most current map of current fencing along the border by flying and driving the entire 2,000 miles. They even put important spots on contour lines, which is very professional.

For me, the most convincing part is the work shows the border is not fenced in a long distance and in some places fence cannot stop crossers but only vehicles, because I can see the photos of places without fence and their concrete locations on the map.

Besides, the story about how they made the digital map is useful for other journalists.

However, in a reader’s perspective, I feel the usage of VR is a little unnecessary. Most readers are not curious about the views along the border, which is not good-looking or important to them. What audience do care about are: Should we build a wall on the border? Is Trump’s plan practical? What’s influence of building such a wall? The current situation about the border and crossers?  “The Wall” did not arouse much of my interest, but it seems a good guide book for Mexican crossers in finding the best route to cross the border.

In a word, I think the attempt to make an interactive map is groundbreaking, but the central point of this work does not interest people.





W9-Critique of the work about Biles

I think three factors make this work really impressive.

First, everything (every video clip, every piece of text and even the background music) is carefully selected. It is like a movie trailer packing all the most attractive moments in just one minute. I believe the journalist must have had an interview with Simone Biles’s coach for more than ten minutes, but only selected one golden quote and dropped all the rest part. Cameramen must have shot Biles for hours, but only selected three to four most amazing moves.  I think that is the most important reason that this work is so impressive.

Second, I’m not sure what kind of technique it is, but it visualizes and analyzes Biles’s complicated move, making it easy for readers to understand. It slows down Biles’s signature move and uses white lines to lead readers’ eyes. Readers can totally appreciate Biles’s signature move only when they can see it clearly.

Third, this work combines different media formats, including video, text, audio and visualization, which make the content rich and interesting. Readers would not get bored when they go through the work.

W9-Video Assignment

This is a piece of news about the Head of the Charles Regatta 2018.

Video link: (Google Drive)



I feel shooting videos is harder than taking pictures. You need to take care of too many things. Shooting videos for news reporting, the main point is not making them beautiful, because sometimes news spots are not beautiful at all. What we need to do is to record accurately and capture the important moments.

W8-Critique of a VR story

I think the “Millions March NYC 12.13.14” is a good work. However, the main reason is the story itself is very appealing, but not about VR. Even if it is presented by video, it would still be a good work.

For this work, I don’t have much interest to click and drag the website, because all around are the same——yelling people with angry faces. VR is good at offering audience comprehensive messages, but not always touching, because audience are easy to be distracted. Also, VR journalism has obvious technological tone. If the work is to explain some complicated things, it would be fine. Otherwise, the work would be a little unnatural.

W7-Audio Assignment Midterm Elections

I think the Midterm Election is a big topic, so I focus on a small slice—the gubernatorial election in Massachusetts. I interviewed two persons in Boston Common. One is name Mary Dougherty, who teaches in Harvard and works for Cambridge Climate Associate. She is a supporter of Charlie Baker. The other interviewee is Mike Jay. He is a cook and painter and supports Jay Gonzalez. I hope the two different views can show diversity to some degree.

W6-Critique of The Last Generation

I believe “The Last Generation” is one of the best reporting I have ever read. There are three reasons.

First, it is good at telling story. Using children’s perspective make the whole story very touching and beautiful. And using the three children’s experience to separately describe the country’s past, present and future, make the story comprehensive, clear and juicy. I believe people in the Marshall Islands must have a universe of complaints about climate change, but the reporters of Frontline chose to tell the story in a gentle way. That’s why the story is such touching. In a word, even if the story was not present by interactive film, but by print, I think it would still be an impressive work, because it tells a good story in a wise way.

the last generation
Created by FRONTLINE

The usage of interactive film also left me a deep impression. In my opinion, interactive film is a combination of documentary, printing journalism and data visualization. It inherits the advantages of documentary, for example, the background music help create atmosphere. Besides, it is more user-friendly than documentary. There are progress bars on the right side of each page, and audience can control their own pace, which means they can skip what seems boring to them and pay more attention on what they are interested in. Also, when video, text and graph, or two of the three, are in the same page, only one can be the majority form. I think that’s very important, otherwise it would be easy to make audience confused. For example, when the background is a graph, the explanatory text had better be no more than two lines.

Another thing makes the story successful is the reporters’ commitment. They not only recorded the facts that the Marshall Island is suffering sea level rising, but also put the phenomenon in historical context and offered related scientific explanation. I really admire such a commitment.

Because the story moved me a lot, I have shared it on my Facebook and Twitter.

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