Critique No. 3: Many multimedia angles explored in package about returning veterans

This photo taken from the website of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Along with several other media entities, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently became involved in Coming Home PA, a project that focuses on the difficulties faced by veterans returning to civilian life in Western Pennsylvania after deployments overseas. As part of the ongoing series, the paper published on Sunday a lengthy article under the headline, “Weak economy, lack of jobs have returning vets fighting for jobs.” To read it, click here.

The main story, written by Mackenzie Carpenter and Molly Born, does a good job of detailing the troubles returning troops must deal with and the different measures and organizations that have been developed to assist them. It features interesting quotes and many perspectives, and, save for a typo here or there, the article is of a high quality. As with many Post-Gazette articles, this one examines a national issue while simultaneously framing it with a local touch.

The piece is also accompanied by a video, which featured reporting by Born and was produced by Andrew Rush. The video presents new information and does an excellent job of bringing the viewer to a job fair meant specifically for veterans. This effect is accomplished partly by the presence of ambient noise, the constant chitter-chatter you’d expect to hear at an event such as this one. There are three sources, two of which are mentioned in the main story, but none of the same quotes are used.

All in all, the video adds to the overall package, as do the two photos, although there could obviously have been more available for the audience. One thing that sets this example of multimedia journalism apart, though, is the presence of three graphics, which can be found in the “Related Media” box. Personally, I have never encountered graphics on the Post-Gazette’s website before, although it is possible that I simply overlooked them. Either way, I’m happy to see them as part of this package. However, they’re a bit bland, and I do have two suggestions: (1) Add color; it would go a long way in making each graphic attractive to the viewer, and (2) Display them more prominently! I almost missed them entirely. They detail important information, and as such should enjoy a larger presence.

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About Mark Emery

Mark Emery is a recent Ohio University alum who covers baseball prospects for MiLB.com in New York City. You can email him at mark.emery.1018@gmail.com.
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