Photo by Isai Ramos on Unsplash

Man in the window

Some great multimodal storytelling

One story for inspiration, and learning, to ‘enjoy’ in your own time: Man in the window. Note, this isn’t a pleasant read.

This is a Los Angeles Times investigation, on a serial rapist and murderer, so not a pleasant read. But it is remarkable for at least two reasons.

Man in the window is excellent multimodal, long journalism. Investigative journalism at its best. It is available both as a podcast series and a multi-chapter, multimedia feature — both, great models, in their own rights, for those looking to undertake your journalism projects in these genres.

Both versions are extremely well produced, and consuming it side-by-side might give you some ideas on how you adapt stories for different platforms — how the script varies, the many, many things you need to think through and bring together when you script for audio (and, yes, video) docs. I found the audio series more powerful than the multimedia version, but the latter is also inspiring, especially for those interested in longform. And, oh, should you have trouble accessing the feature on the LA Times web site, open it in an incognito window (right click > incognito).

Second point to note is the depth, and richness, of this reportage. All investigative journalism will have depth, of course, but this one is outstanding even by IJ standards. The journalist, Paige St John, has put in an amazing deal of boot-leather journalism together with exceptional research and archival digging to piece this together. You might want to note the sources she has spoken to in each episode, the questions she would have asked to elicit those responses. Note, also, where the other kind of info — context, timeline, descriptions — would have come from.

Most importantly, consider what it would have taken for a reporter to have gotten the survivors to open up on such a topic as they have done in this story.

Hope it inspires you.

Related Posts