Behind the Veil

This week long mini series by the Globe and Mail is causing quite the stir among multimedia journalists this week. Tracy Boyer’s eagle eye spotted it on the weekend, and it’s had plaudits from the likes of The Travel Photographer and The Bombay Flying Club.

I like it too, for several reasons:

  1. it’s full screen (why hasn’t that been done before?)
  2. it has it’s own embeddable widget (why hasn’t that  been done before?)
  3. it’s got a great flash navigation
  4. and it’s beautiful to look at
  5. the extras (like a timeline, photogallery and reporter’s notes)

But of the whole experience (which is still being unveiled throughout this week) the page which intrigues me the most is this one:


Look how many people worked on this project. I’ve counted it for you and it’s 15. That’s as many as work on a small TV documentary. And it’s interesting because it goes against the trend of multimedia and online journalism to this date.

Multimedia Journalism (and online video journalism) has so far been characterised by the lack of people working on it, not the abundance. And I think that’s what has given it charm and a non-corporate appeal.  I watch a piece by a single journalist and I can put myself in their position and engage with the story.

Do pieces like Behind the Veil lack this? Or does multimedia’s Hollywood have a place too?And am I being unrealistic to expect 1, 2, or even 3 journalists could create an experience as detailed as the 15 on The Globe and Mail?


Discussion (3 Comments)

  1. Antonin says:

    Yup that’s like the “french model” of multimedia stories.

    Most of them are closer to TV documentaries than photojournalism : Like Gaza/Sderot by ( or La Cité des mortes (about Ciudad Juarez)

  2. Its an interesting story, but a pity it begins with the journalists narration, putting all the elements of the story in their place before we get the chance to hear any of the subjects directly, and perhaps construct our own views of the situation.

  3. well I’ve FINALLY got round the watching the whole thing.
    My first feeling was the same as David’s – the narration on the first chapter and some of the later ones really jars. Also the camera work is horrendous in parts, obviously. It felt a bit all over the place at times..
    but i guess i’m being too nit-picky.
    I thought it was obviously a very worthwhile project, and definitely the first time I’ve actually heard ordinary Afghan women speaking. I definitely learned from that.
    I liked the full screen business and I like the fact they revealed it gradually over the course of the week. Not that I watched it as it was released.
    I can’t see that a British paper would dedicate that level of staffing to something like this though. I think it’s a really nice start but I hope these kind of projects get a lot better as people master the discipline a bit.

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