Coming Out Interactive Story
Category: Required reading
Issue: Societal, gay rights
Normally I groan when I have to read required readings for a class. Okay, let’s face it, most of the time I don’t read those so-called required readings. Lucky for me, in J202 we had the opportunity to read actually interesting stories. For me, my favorite ones included the interactive and alternative form stories. I have the attention span of a goldfish, so these stories were perfect for me to enjoy.
Interactive and alternative stories are the most definitely the future of journalism. They are more interesting to the reader, and sometimes easier to understand. In addition, they make it easier for their story to stand out from a different newspaper’s version of that story. Hey, and they are more fun to create. It’s a win-win situation.
The interactive story that stuck out the most to me this semester was The New York Time’s “Coming Out,” which told stories of individuals and their struggles to tell their parents, friends, and family that they are gay.
The layout of this site is very user-friendly and creative. As you scroll down, six main stories pop up, each in a large banner format. Animation with words scrolling makes the pictures even more interesting. After you pass the main stories, many people’s stories are laid out in a format like UW Right Now’s. This makes it very easy to see each different story, and easy to fit many stories on the page. I loved the idea that readers can submit their own stories to the website. This way, everyone can get their voice out online.
Not only was the site well designed, the main stories themselves were amazing to watch. NYT created audio slideshows to show each person’s story. I think that the aspect of a slideshow is actually more emotional than a video. It gives the viewer time to take in the picture. It’s more emotional to me. Instead of using a journalist’s voice over, they focused on the people of the stories by using their own voices. This way, it was easier to connect with the story teller.
These stories held so much meaning. I can’t imagine how hard it is to share your story. Or to share you were beat up because of who you are. It’s time for America to become more accepting of homosexuals, transgenders, etc. They don’t deserve to be picked on because of who they are. I really believe NYT started a great thing with this story. Their audience is very broad, and once more people from different demographics read this story, they can begin to understand all the struggles people have gone through as coming out as gay. There’s many struggles found deep in these stories that the average person wouldn’t have even though of or understand. One boy was afraid to come out to his mom, even though his mom is a lesbian. You don’t realize how difficult it really is for someone to make a giant leap and reveal themselves to the world. Why? Because this world is cruel. In my high school, we were lucky to be very accepting of people who came out as gay. I had a lot of gay friends, and everyone loved them. One boy even won prom king. I’m proud to say our high school wasn’t full of ignorant people, and this allowed people to feel accepted.
I commend NYT for creating this site. It’s truly inspirational to read all of these stories, and I hope that other news outlets will continue to do the same. America needs to spread the word that it gets better, and people will accept you if you are gay.