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 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.