A picture’s worth a thousand words

Last semester, for an assignment in a broadcast class, I had to put together a story based on information the teacher already gave the class. The story was about how Brian Storm, a University of Missouri alum, came to speak for the graduation ceremony.

Having never heard of the guy, I quickly googled him and found out he is the creator of a site called Media Storm. After watching just one video, I was enthralled about how despite having no reporter track, these stories could be even stronger than the traditional technique. These stories use a photographer and then a running track of the main character telling his or her story. It wasn’t until I discovered this site that I realized photographs could tell such a powerful story.

The story that I watched most recently on the site was called Marlboro Marine. It’s about a Marine veteran struggling with post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Photographer Luis Sinco follows former Marine Blake Miller after his tour in Fallujah. And through pictures and a track of Miller’s voice, we find out about his failed marriage and the countless times he thought about taking his own life.

One of the photos that really resonated with me was where Miller was on a dock looking out over a cloudy ocean with no land in sight. This completely symbolized how lonely Miller is, and how he is searching for meaning now that he is home.

The third part of the story was an interview with Luis Sinco. I thought it was very interesting to see how this story affected him. Something this deep and serious would no doubt have an affect on any one reporting the story, but I had no idea the extent to which it would stay with you, as Sinco tells us.

This is an avenue of journalism I had not seriously considered. It sort of fits in with what CNN reporter Jeremy Harlan, who guest lectured my current broadcast class on October 7. He said that there is more then one way to tell a story. The example he used in class was a natural sound piece, where there is video and interviews, but no reporter track.

You can check out the Marlboro Marine story here.

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