Analysis of the Construction Deaths on the Las Vegas Strip

Cost of Expansion is too High

Construction deaths on the Las Vegas strip have been a big issue in the past18 months.  Although the problem is large it is hard to get the story out to everyone, especially people that are far away from the area.  I am sure the story was in all the newspapers in the southwest but to get the story out to a greater audience the Las Vegas Sun put up a online mash up to explain in depth the issue.

Many of the elements I learned from chapter 1 of Online Journalism by James C. Foust were represented in this mash up.  Some of the unique advantages the internet provides are audience control, time and access, nonliterary, unlimited space, immediacy, mulitmedia control and audience participation.  The elements used in this story that made it memorable were the audience control, multimedia capability, and nonliterary.

Audience control is represented in this mash up because we have control over what we want to look at.  That way readers are more engaged in the story.  Nonliterary and multimedia capability are represented because there is a slide show, video and interactive stories on the site. Readers can go from the article to the other multimedia stories as they please in a nonlinear way.  This is effective because people move more quickly on the internet and might not have time to read a whole story, by clicking around they can get more information in less time.  Also a visual might be more telling than a written article.

What we can’t understand from reading an article…

I learned in my Poynter class on Video Storytelling for the Web that you want to use video and multimedia to show something that can’t re described in written words.  You can’t find write the heartbreak of the people who have lost family members and friends but watching it on video helps people understand the severity of the construction deaths.

The  multimedia that stuck out the most to me was the illustrations of the way people were killed.  The pictures with the descriptions helped me to imagine what happened, giving the story strong emotional appeal.  Showing the faces of the victims killed and the consequences that the businesses faced was organized in a creative way that made it easy to understand. On the website it is called “Accidents on the Strip” and you examine the 9 deaths of the constitutions workers.  This stuck out to me the most because it was very personal and individualized.

All though the “Accidents on the Strip” stood out to me, I think all of the multimedia used has a specific purpose in the story.  The slideshow is to get you engaged in the story, the video is used to create emotional appeal and the illustration is used to inform.

In the article it says no workers have died since June 2008.  To improve this story I would have liked to read or watch some of the changes that OSHA and the U.S. House and Senate made to ensure the safety for future construction workers.

Another suggestion is, I would like to see is how the owners of the hotels reacted to the deaths at their sites.  Was Trump sympathetic towards laborer, Isidro Palayo who fell 70 feet to his death when safety regulations were not met?   Seeing how the hotel owners reacted to the families and the situation would influence me.  If they felt guilty and tried to help the families it would make me feel better about staying at their hotel even though an unfortunate incident occurred there.

The Trump Hotel in Las Vegas 

Links are used a lot in this mash up.  You can link to the map of the strip, the biographies of the people that died and video and pictures of peoples reactions to it.  Linking helps people on the internet get a variety of information.  Readers might get bored skimming one section so by having links its allows them to stay on your website but get new information in creative ways.

I think the package creates community building.  It already shows from the video that the community is very involved and the more people that watch it and realize what is going on, the more people will work together within the community to make sure changes are made.  When this story first came out I am sure social media was used a lot.  People most likely turned to sites like facebook and twitter to get their opinions heard.

Although I thought the most effective multimedia was the pictures of the way people were killed, the video is the most memorable.  The way the family members talked about the importance of safety measures was memorable because you could hear the sadness in their voice and see the concern in their eyes because they know how terrible not meeting the safety requirements can be.

The creator of this mash up was extremely successful at making the readers be engaged and understand the story.  He used a variety of multimedia elements and took advantage of what you can do with online journalism that you can’t with with printed journalism.  Overall, this was a very well organized and touching story.

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