All posts by Rachael

Case Study: ‘Segregation Now’

“Segregation Now: The Resegregation of America’s Schools” uses a family and historical context to show how segregation in schools has evolved. Although legislators put laws in place to integrate schools across America, some school districts have begun to resegregate. “Segregation Now” successfully used several multimedia storytelling tools, including text and photos, charts and maps, social media, interactivity and a narrative style to tell this important story.


The article is very lengthy at 9624 words. The publishers use different text styles and photos to break up the text. The authors used different sized fonts to chunk the text. They magnified significant quotes as a way of differentiating text as well. “When you chunk text, you break down what may have started as one really long article into smaller, manageable, more easily understood blocks of text,” said Kivi Leroux Miller in “The Art of Chunking: An Online Writing Essential.” Reading the article does not feel monotonous due to the chunking of the text.

It almost is on the verge of becoming “beautiful journalism” as we discussed this semester. “Segregation Now” also includes a variety of multimedia elements that add to the story.

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The article starts with a series of large photos that are the size of the screen. Some of the photos are framed within words that are relevant to the story. For example, to the three separate parts of the article, the name of the section was shown with the subject of the section in a high resolution photograph behind the letters.

The beginning of the article uses a series of large high resolution photos and text as an introduction to the article. Part of this introduction reads, “60 years ago,the Supreme Court ruled that ‘separate but equal’ had no place in American schools. This is the story of schools in Tuscaloosa, Ala. — where a series of backroom deals and difficult compromises have had devastating consequences.”

The publishers continued to use photos to separate the text. The photos were related to the text surrounding that piece of the article. The photo placement was very intentional and the photos added to the story. Shortly after the writer mentioned Judge Frank McFadden, they featured a photo of him in his office. It was helpful to add a face to the story that was playing out in reader’s minds.

At the end of the article, publishers included a 16 minute video highlighting Central’s principal’s efforts to revive the school. The title was “Saving Central: One principal’s fight in a resegregating South.” The video showed footage of students in class, the principal interacting with teachers and attempting to influence students. The video showed that Central was making positive changes in the midst of a variety of problems.

Saving Central from ProPublica on Vimeo.

“Segregation Now” used a variety of photo elements, videos and chunking text as multimedia reporting tools to make the information more enticing.


The publishers included an interactive chart. Charts help express ideas that can be expressed visually. It helps the viewer’s understanding of the concepts the writer is attempting to explain. “It [good data visualization] stands on its own; if taken out of context, the reader should still be able to understand what a chart is saying because the visualization tells the story. It should also be easy to understand. And while too much interaction can distract, the visualization should incorporate some layered data so the curious can explore,” said Daniel Waisberg in “Tell a Meaningful Story With Data.”

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The chart included a scrolling timeline where readers could visually see segregated schools across the United States from 1993 to 2011. Readers could search their local school district and see percentages of racial makeup. The chart is easily to understand and not too much interaction. One of the ways to successfully allow readers to interact with content is to allow them to personalize it. This allowed readers to put in their own school districts, which helped it become a story about their own hometowns and not just Tuscaloosa.

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Later in the article, readers could see a map of the Tuscaloosa area, and school district lines before and after redistricting. At this point in the article, the writers showed how the leadership in the town through a series of court orders and legal moves, reversed the integration they worked hard to accomplish years earlier. The map showed how redistricting directly impacts the racial makeup of schools. “Segregation Now” used interactive charts and maps to bring the reader into the story and help explain the seemingly complex subject matter.


Segregation Now was definitely narrative style. According to the explanation offered by Professor Mark Walters, readers are not able to click around to different parts of the story if it’s narrative style. If it’s information or news style, readers can click around and experience different content in no specific order. In “News feature v. narrative — What’s the difference?” author Rebecca Allen said, “a narrative is a story that has a beginning, middle and end… At its heart, a narrative contains a mystery or a question — something that compels the reader to keep reading and find out what happens.”

In “Segregation Now,” readers had to continue reading to solve the mystery of how exactly the school district worked toward integration and then reversed their actions. Readers could not jump around to different parts of the story. Readers needed to read the text in order to understand the story. The publishers used actors in the story as navigation to reinforce this storytelling. “Segregation Now” had compelling characters, another trait of narrative form. The story was divided by the three names of family members from each generation who attended the same school. Publishers divided the story into three sections: James (the grandfather), Melissa (the daughter), and D’Leisha (the granddaughter).

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The publishers also used a timeline in the right column of the web page as a source of navigation. The Timelines as Navigation section of our coursework said, “timelines are a go-to way to structure and navigate through a story project which may be made up of smaller ‘stories.’”

“Segregation Now” simply lists the year and a significant historical event related to the story. Users can click on the date at any time to see a full timeline, entitled, “From Brown v. Board of Education to Segregation Now.” The timeline helps readers keep track of the historical context of the story. The writer and publishers used narrative style and the timeline navigation in the creation of Segregation Now.


The authors highlighted powerful sentences in the piece and displayed them in large font. Readers had the ability to post the quote on social media by clicking Facebook or Twitter icons.

For example, near the beginning of the article, the publishers offer this quote to be posted on social media. This is referenced in “The Future of Social Media written by Vadim Lavrusik. He said, “But more importantly, these social tools are inspiring readers to become citizen journalists by enabling them to easily publish and share information on a greater scale.” Segregation Now gave their readers a chance to share parts of the article on social media.

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“In Tuscaloosa today, nearly 1 in 3 black students attends a school that looks as if Brown v. Board of Education never happened,” Nikole Hannah-Jones writes. This is an enticing quote. If a social media user saw this, they might be likely to click the link to read the full article. Also, the link to tweet added the hashtag, #SegregationNow to the quote. Hashtags help link together social media posts about the same topic. Segregation Now makes it easy for readers to integrate social media usage.


Professor Mark Walters talks about how interactivity is a spectrum in the eighth module of our coursework. Interactivity could be as basic as advancing the slide in a photo gallery, or it could be personalizing content so that it reflects the reader. “Segregation Now” does have a photo gallery. It’s linked in the right column during the last section of the article. However, the article also goes far in the interactivity spectrum by allowing readers to participate in the story.

At the end of the article, ProPublica gave readers the option to submit six words about race and education. It’s called “The Race Card Project.” The project asks, “What are your six words on race and education?” Students from the school at the center of the article’s investigation participated in the project. D’Leisha Dent said “segregation should not determine our future.” Another student, Darian Madison answered the prompt with “my future begins today with me.”

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Readers have the opportunity to add what they felt and contribute to the piece of work. “Segregation Now” allows readers to interact with the story, which is an important multimedia reporting tool.

“Segregation Now” used many multimedia reporting tools to tell this story of Tuscaloosa’s long journey to integration and resegregation. Nikole Hannah-Jones used chunking text strategies, photos and videos, social media, narrative style, social media and interactivity in this article. These elements were needed to break down the complex issues associated with this story.


Hannah-Jones, Nikole. Photography by Maisie Crow. Segregation Now: The Resegregation of America’s Schools. ProPublica, 2014. Web. 16 April 2014.

Miller, Kivi Leroux. The Art of Chunking: An Online Writing Essential., 2008. Web. 18 February 2008.

Waisberg, Daniel. Tell a Meaningful Story With Data. think with Google, 2014. Web. March 2014.

Allen, Rebecca. News feature v. narrative — What’s the difference? Nieman Storyboard, 2014. Web. 24 January 2014.

Lavrusik, Vadim. The Future of Social Media in Journalism. Mashable, 2010. Web. 13 September 2010.


Evaluate: ‘High Rise’

Various media elements

The images used in “High Rise” are a mix of New York Times archive photos and animations.

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But the publishers made the photos pop off the page. One part of a still photograph would move, making it seem like video. They also used a design that looked like a scrapbook to give the photos texture.

At anytime during the video, readers could click the bottom of the screen to interact further. For example, when I clicked the bottom of the screen in part two’s ideology section, a high rise video game appeared. As the player, I needed to click the flashes of light and a crane would immediately build a new high rise. If i didn’t click fast enough, the crane would slowly sink into the city skyline.

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Timeline or time navigation

The story is told in three parts, with an additional song that serves as part four. You can not freely navigate to random parts of the story. The reader has to allow the video to play and the story advances itself. This allows the timeline of the story to be preserved. The bottom of the screen tells you where you are the story, so that you have a sense of the timeline.

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Other points of navigation

“High Rise” is high on the spectrum of interactivity and moderate in free navigation. “High Rise” does allow reader participation because it allows the readers to stop and start the story. However, it’s not the same type of navigation offered by a traditional news or information because it does not allow the reader to skip ahead to different parts of the story.

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Live Blog: 2014 Golden Globes Opening Monologue

Key Points:

  • Amy Pohler and Tina Fey returned to host the Golden Globes in 2015.
  • Pohler and Fey brought their specific comedic charm to the opening monologue, drawing laughs from the majority of the audience.
  • The monologue was just under 10 minutes.

:35 Fey makes a joke about producer and director Lee Daniels including his name in the title of his productions by referring to the show as the “Tina Fey Amy Pohler Lee Daniels The Butler Golden Globes Awards.”

:40 Pohler jokes that only women and gay men are watching the broadcast.

:47 The host acknowledge this is their second time hosting and jokes about Hollywood’s tendency to create sequels and follow ups until “everybody hates it.”

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1:06 Pohler correctly pronounces Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o but mispronounces Tom Hanks

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1:29 Fey and Pohler joke about the ranking of A-list stars. They say last year’s Globes didn’t have as many great stars. 

2:22 Pohler continues the ranking joke, telling Matt Damon his stardom is equivalent to a garbage man for the night.

2:43 Fey acknowledges Meryl Streep and says “there are still great parts in Hollywood for Meryl Streeps over 60”

3:01 Pohler makes a joke to Martin Scorsese in a light Boston accent. “Danny and Bobby say hi.”

3:26 Fey jokes about the wigs used in Bradley Cooper’s “American Hustle”.

3:47 Fey acknowledges Poehler is nominated for “Parks and Rec.”

3:55 Pohler asks the cameras to get a shot of her and the camera shows Jennifer Lawrence.

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4:10 Fey acknowledges Julia Louis-Dreyfus is nominated for a film and television and chose to sit in the film section. The camera shows her with shades on, huffing an e-cigarette.

4:53 Pohler gives Woody Allen a shout out for being nominated for the Cecil B Demille award, and compares his short stature and glasses to the previous winner, Martin Scorsese.

5:04 Fey jokes about best film nomination, “Gravity” starring George Clooney. She says it’s a film about how Clooney would rather die than be with a woman his own age. This joke draws laughs from Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Puff Daddy, Lupita Nyong’o and more. 

5:40 Pohler talks about Barkhad Abdi’s success story of being a limo driver before landing a major role. She says the important lesson is to “sleep with your limo driver tonight before he gets famous.”

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6:05 Fey says both the film “Her” and Joaquin Phoenix take place in the near distant future.

6:20 Pohler jokes that she was the voice of the computer in “Her”. Fey says it was Scarlett Johansson.

6:35 Fey acknowledges Matthew McConaughey lost 45 pounds to be in “Dallas Buyers Club” saying it’s what actresses call “being in a movie.”

6:58 Pohler jokes about the graphic nature of “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and calls out one of Jonah Hill’s raunchy scenes, alleging the use of a prosthetic penis.

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7:18 Fey jokes about Hill’s prosthetic penis being in Planet Hollywood.

7:30 Pohler continues the prosthetic genitals joke and includes “Blue is the Warmest Color” and “Saving Mr Banks.” She point to Tim Hanks, saying he’s wearing a prosthetic penis now at the award show.

7:52 Fey compares the “The Wolf of Wall Street” using the “f-word” 506 times in 3 hours to her father hanging curtain rods.

8:01 Pohler says after seeing “12 Years a Slave” she’ll never look at slavery the same way. Fey asks, “Wait, how were you looking at it?”

8:20 Pohler acknowledges Netflix’s nominations, and says Snapchat will be accepting the best drama award in a few years.

8:44 Fey gives Kerry Washington a shout out and recognizes her pregnancy.

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8:55 The hosts joke about the drama on Washington’s show, “Scandal” and looks into another camera whispering, “Scandal.”

9:02 Pohler shouts of her “Saturday Night Live” friend’s nominations, saying Andy Samberg’s song “I’m on a Boat” being adapted into Tom Hanks film, “Captain Phillips.”

9:24 Pohler makes a play on the name of drama series “Masters of Sex,” saying, “Masters of Sex is the degree I got from Boston College.”

9:35 Fey jokes that the Somali pirates from “The Blacklist” are invited to her room tonight.

9:40 Fey and Pohler end the monologue and start the show.

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Social Media: Pages to follow to keep up with latest shows to binge-watch

The three most popular online streaming services are Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. You can keep up with your chosen streaming platform on social media. Each streaming service’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages allow viewers to find out about new shows or keep up with favorite show’s return dates. Here are three accounts you need to follow to keep up with the latest shows you can binge-watch.

  1. Netflix’s Facebook page

Netflix posts content promoting their latest shows on their Facebook page. The account often posts articles about Netflix shows written by publications. This post is a video briefly introducing viewers to the chefs in the new season of “Chef’s Table.” The video received over 70 comments and the Netflix account even responded to come commenters!

Hulu also has a Facebook page, but their Instagram also produced great content. They post videos and a variety of images, including panoramas and banners using multiple image psots. To spread the word about “Golden Girls” now streaming on Hulu, the streaming service posted a GIF of Blanche, one of the characters. Hulu used the hashtag #GoldenGirlson Hulu. The post was viewed more than 6,000 times. 

You just got Blanched. #GoldenGirlsonHulu

A post shared by Hulu (@hulu) on

  1. Amazon Video on Twitter

The Amazon Video Twitter account tweets multiple times a day about available content. They use photos, videos and GIFs in tweets to promote shows. There are separate Twitter pages for some Amazon original shows like “Patriot,” or “Hand of God.” This tweet promotes a newly available movie, “Mr. Church” starring Eddie Murphy. They used a photo of Murphy in the tweet and received nearly ten likes (previously known as favorites.)

Follow these social media accounts and you won’t miss a moment of binge-watching action!

MAP: Where your favorite shows to binge-watch were filmed

According to a Newsweek article that cites Symphony Advanced Media research, the most watched shows of the past 12 months are “Orange is the New Black,” “Stranger Things,” “Fuller House,” “Marvel’s Luke Cage” and “Marvel’s Daredevil.” We’re going to examine where these five popular binge-watching shows were filmed.

  1. Orange Is the New Black

The fourth season of “Orange Is the New Black” received 23 million viewers in the first 35 days of release. “Orange is the New Black” is about a woman’s journey through prison. The show is filmed in Rockland County, New York. The cast and crew shoot the show at the old Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Center.

2. Stranger Things

The next most watched show on Netflix in the last 12 months is “Stranger Things.” The show about a group of kids fighting an alternative universe agitated by scientists was streamed by 21.7 million viewers. The show is filmed in Jackson, Georgia. Jackson is a small city about fifty miles southeast of Atlanta.

3. Fuller House

This second season of “Fuller House,” a revival of a classic 90’s sitcom was streamed by 21.5 million viewers. While the exteriors of the show were shot in San Francisco (to show the well-known “Full House” home) the majority of the show was shot in Burbank, California.

4. Marvel’s Luke Cage

Marvel’s Luke Cage” was streamed by 12.1 million viewers. Luke Cage, the story of a comic book hero come to life is mostly shot in Harlem in New York City. However, the show has also shot scenes in Washington Heights, Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx.

5. Marvel’s Daredevil

Season two of “Marvel’s Daredevil” was shot in Brooklyn in New York City. The series about a blind superhero saving lives in Hell’s Kitchen was streamed by 11.6 million viewers.

5 shows you need to binge-watch next

As a person who cut my cable cord years ago, it did take me a while to transition from cable to digital viewership. One of the biggest transitions was going from having several TV channels with planned programming on at all times, to making my own choice about what to watch and when.

Admittedly, this left me stupefied at times.

After I watched the last minute of the last available season of a TV show, I would sit in bewilderment wondering what to watch next. Most digital TV platforms will give the viewer a suggested list of similar shows to watch next. But personally, sometimes I don’t have the desire to watch a program with a similar genre or format after already watching hours of it. I think it’s useful to have a list of shows you may want to binge-watch next, ready and available so you won’t have to wonder.

Here’s a list of 5 shows you need to binge next.

1. Good Girls Revolt

Photo credit: @GoodGirlsRevolt Twitter account

Get ready for girl power galore. Based on true events at Newsweek, a group of women in the 1960’s who work at fictional publication “News of the Week,” are denied the same jobs as men. The women unite to file a lawsuit. The show is streamed on Amazon Prime. There is only one season available, but the episodes are nearly one-hour long.

Unfortunately, it was cancelled by Amazon, but the show’s producers, Sony Pictures Television, are trying to get it picked up by another outlet.

2. Narcos

Photo credit: @NarcosNetflix Twitter account

This gritty drama is based on the life of Pablo Escobar, Colombian drug kingpin, and the detectives who bring him to justice. Two seasons of “Narcos” are available on Netflix. Much of the show is in Spanish, so be prepared to read subtitles. The episodes are one hour.

3. Insecure

Photo credit: Insecure Facebook

Fans of the viral YouTube series, “The Misadventures of AWKWARD Black Girl” will love HBO’s new comedy series, “Insecure”. The show follows an African-American young professional’s messy love life. You can stream it on HBO GO. With short 30 minutes episodes and only one season, you should be able to binge Insecure in one sitting.

4. This is Us

This Is Us - Season 1
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You’ll want to binge-watch this one with a tissue box near. “This is Us” chronicles the life of a family with emotional surprises in every episode. The show has not finished airing it’s first season, but have been guaranteed a season two and three. Watch the hour-long episodes on


5. Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation
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All seven season of NBC show “Parks & Rec” are available on Netflix. Follow the life of Leslie Knope as she navigates public service and her small town’s parks department. The comedy show’s content is light enough to stream while cook, clean or handle another household task, but you’ll quickly find yourself emotionally attached to the entire cast.


3 ways binge-watching could be impacting your health

Many people across the world watch several episodes of a television show in one sitting, a behavior that is commonly referred to as binge-watching. Although an enjoyable pastime, binge-watching can negatively impact viewer’s health.

Some possible effects on viewer’s health include increased risk of diabetes, depression and damage to eyes and skin.

  1. Prolonged periods of sitting can cause diabetes.

When marathon watching TV shows, viewers find themselves in sedentary positions for prolonged periods of time.

The increased time sitting means people are more likely to get diabetes, according to the Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group.

“In a study of people at higher risk of developing diabetes, researchers say that every hour spent sitting can increase the risk of developing the metabolic disorder by 3.4%. For a day-long binge, that could be as much as a 30% higher risk,” according to a TIME article.

The research group says the solution is to not to get more exercise, but to sit less. Even if binge-watchers get exercise, they are still more susceptible to diabetes due to extended sitting.

  1. There may be a connection between binge-watching and depression.

Early research shows that if viewers already experience depression, they will binge-watch more television and not be able to control depressed feelings.

According to an NPR article, there is a connection between lonely feelings and binge-watching.

“They [frequent binge-watchers] were more likely than the non-binge viewers to admit behaviors associated with depression, lack of self-regulation or loneliness,” according to NPR.

However, the research is just exploratory and not conclusive. The article says also though there is a connection between binge-watching and depression, it’s not definitive.

  1. Blue light from mobile devices can damage your eyes and skin.

Binge-watching is not performed on traditional TV. It’s often done on phones, iPads or laptops. The blue light from mobile devices can have negative impacts your eyes and skin.

HEVs or high energy wavelengths emitted from these devices can damage your retina, causing “dry, irritated, fatigued,” effects on your eyes, according to an article on Vulture.

Additionally, if the device is close to your skin, HEVs can cause sagging and wrinkling.

Ways to reduce risks of binge-watching on eyes and skin:

  • 20-20-20 technique – look away from the screen at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes of viewing
  • Turn on “Night Shift” to lower blue waves
  • Dim the brightness on your screen
  • Don’t hold the mobile device close to your face