Five Teenagers

J-School students have been doing amazing work this semester on a trio of hyperlocal news sites: Mission Loc@l, Richmond Confidential, and Oakland North. I’m particularly moved by their multimedia feature piece, Five Teenagers, which takes a look at “Teens On Target or TNT, an after-school program based at East Oakland’s Castlemont High School. TNT trains students to teach violence prevention in the city’s middle schools.”

The video above is excerpted from the piece, but be sure to visit and check out the whole package, which interviews five teens, breaks down some chilling numbers, and provides an embedded map of regional homicides thanks to Oakland Crimespotting.

I was also impressed by the lack of Flash in this piece – everything is done with JQuery. Multimedia journalism and Flash go hand-in-hand (just surf through the projects listed at Interactive Narratives and count how many are done in Flash vs. standard methods). But slowly, multimedia journalists are beginning to realize that the downsides of Flash that we web standards geeks rant about are real, not just theoretical. At the same time, the quality, reliability, and ease-of-use of Javascript libraries like JQuery really are making it possible for non-programmers to put packages like this together.

Great work, guys!