Digital Story Critique #13: The Joy of Food
*I am currently working my way through my fourth semester of the Information and Learning Technologies master’s program at University of Colorado, Denver. This is the thirteenth post within a series of critiques on digital stories that I’ve been assigned to write for a course titled Digital Storytelling.
This week’s critique is on a beautiful story presented by National Geographic Magazine. The story is titled The Joy of Food and is part of a series of features on food. This is my third critique (or response) on a storytelling piece created and presented by National Geographic. The other two pieces I wrote about are here and here and I highly recommend checking them out! The Joy of Food certainly lived up to its name, as it not only explored the joy of food, but it was a joy to read. (It was a joy, see what I did there? I’m sure you did.)
To critique this piece, I used the following traits from Jason Ohler’s “Assessing digital stories, new media narrative“: 1.) content understanding, 2.) sense of audience and 3.) media application.
- Content understanding – It’s apparent that the writer, whom I believe to be Victoria Pope (I’m not fully clear on who designed and created this digital story), had a deep understanding and interest in the topic. You can feel the emotions that the creator was trying to convey with the selected images and quotes, as well as with the introductory text (which was definitely written by Ms. Pope!). The story isn’t all that long, so quite a bit of curating had to have gone into the selection of each element used in this piece. And there isn’t just one direction that the creator chose to go in, but several different ones. This shows an understanding of the joy of food and what it brings to individuals, communities, families, and various cultures.
- Sense of audience – The creator/Ms. Pope had the fortune of writing about a topic that most people, within any culture, have a very profound interest in. It’s obvious that the carefully selected images and quotes were chosen because they appeal to people of all races, genders, and cultures. Food is universal so it was a great idea to use elements that cross continents and connect with so many.
- Media application – From what I understand, this was first a feature in National Geographic’s magazine and was then adapted and built to work on the web. I really like the layout of the story and the “long scroll” aspect to it. I like feeling like I am progressing the story at my own pace and not just clicking a link to open page after page, waiting for each one to open. And I have to admit, I’m a huge fan of multi-media digital stories, so I immediately knew I would enjoy this one upon first glance. There are different elements like full screen photos, photo slide shows, quotes, and text, that all come together to tell a story. Each piece of media truly benefits the story and definitely conveys the joy that food brings!
This is another well done piece from National geographic (no surprise there) and a quick read! I highly recommend heading over and spending a few minutes seeing what joy food has brought throughout history, to people all over the world.