One of the biggest stories to hit sports and national news was the death of Pat Tillman by friendly fire in 2004. ESPN's Mark Fish wrote the piece "An Un-American Tragedy" months after the event by looking through documents and doing investigation. The piece is broken up into four parts, each dealing with a different question surrounding his death. Fish compiled photos and interviews to weave the story together over years. The characters of the story were those that knew Tillman and that were affected by his loss. Fish stayed in contact with them and never lost his story, which displays a lot of talent in his investigative reporting.
Tillman's story was headlining ESPN for a while, but this made me think about ONA showing some love for stories that may not always be broadcasted on big networks. The Special Olympics were covered by the University of Miami School of Communication. The site put together video coverage and recaps for every day of the Special Olympics. People forget about how mentally challenged people are also capable of participating in sports and have those same dreams of success. Miami did an excellent job of finding people to interview about what this means to the parents and friends of those competing and the athletes themselves. This is a story beyond just winners and losers.
Staying in the Florida-area, the Orlando Sentinel did amazing coverage of the Casey Anthony case on their Twitter page and being one of the bigger Florida newspapers, they received a lot of traffic and credibility when the trial was going on. I was surprised not to see them recognized by ONA, but the case was touched upon with WESH Orlando. The site has pretty much built a data base surrounding Casey Anthony and all of the people involved in the case. There is a timeline with articles, a video series, map, and who's who section where you can learn about the characters of the grim tale. The updates are on-going as the most recent article was about Casey Anthony's grandmother's death in late September. It's good to see the story constantly being tracked due to the magnitude it had on the American court system.
One of the last pieces that I looked at also involved crime and that was the Associated Press' interactive map of the Virgina Tech campus after the shooting in 2007. The site included eye witness accounts, detailed facts of the crime, and photos of the scene. It did an excellent job of putting the audience member in the place of one of the people that survived that day. A lot of the country froze and watched as people awaited updates as to what was going on to people that were so far away from them. The AP recreated that day in an easy to navigate webpage.
The ONA shows the importance of being well-rounded as a journalist and having the tools to create different forms of media to share a story and put your audience member in the times.