Monday, November 12, 2007

LA Times series offers journalism lessons

Hey Journalism Educators,

Looking for an easy and powerful lesson for this week? The Los Angeles Times has put together a package just for you -- The Marlboro Marine.

Three years ago Luis Sinco, a photographer for the LA Times, took a photograph of a battle-weary soldier smoking a cigarette in Fallouja, Iraq.

"With the click of a shutter, Marine Lance Cpl. James Blake Miller, a country boy from Kentucky, became an emblem of the war in Iraq," Sinco writes in the story that ran Sunday. "The resulting image would change two lives -- his and mine."

In a masterpiece of multimedia storytelling using photographs, video, text and original music by the subject of the story -- Sinco tells the story of what happened to the marine when he came back.

The beauty of this piece is that it offers many kinds of lessons -- the power of multimedia storytelling, the importance of photojournalists learning to tell stories with words and a courseload of lessons on ethics. You can discuss the way a single high-profile photo can change a person's life, what happens when a journalist gets personally involved with a source and where to draw the line between being a journalist and being a human being.

It's a piece every journalist should see.

Hat tip to Tom Nelson of Loyola Marymount University for bringing this piece to our attention.

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