Assignment: Critiquing A Multimedia Package
Featuring ‘They Are Slaughtering Us Like Animals’ by DANIEL BEREHULAK
I read this piece last year, when it was initially released. It was the first piece I’ve ever read and continues to be my favorite.
Vigilantes and the police force in the Phillippines have been killing civilians suspected of drug use since President Duterte of the Philippines instigated a War on Drugs since July 2016.
What is this piece about
People are often killed in public streets, by stores, or even in their own homes. Both police and vigilantes work to eliminate drug users through this method if they are not lucky enough to be placed in overcrowded prisons. It is not uncommon for someone to be killed, even if someone turns themselves into the police. This piece details the campaign and compiles photographic and video media to give outsiders a horrifying yet simultaneously intimate peek into the lives of Filipino civilians.
Assessing the usage of multimedia
This piece is definitely one of those that requires more commitment. It is considered a long read, requiring approximately 10 minutes of reading, scrolling, and watching. But because it was so engrossing, I did not notice and felt it was worth my time.
The photos occupy the entire window and there is very minimal clicking, a very “costly” investment to include in digital media. Readers would rather scroll and scan than click and tap.
The piece opens with a photo of a body on a street in the rain at night. It sets the eerie mood. As the reader scrolls, they are submerged in transition screens of black, like the night, before white font that introduces the piece. It then goes on to show a map graphic of the murders he has documented, followed by the intimate photos of murdered people. Between the shocking photographs of victims, the writer included extensive paragraphs of context and his personal experience documenting the campaign in the Philippines.
The gritty, raw security camera footage clips in between the photos also pulls reader back into the story. They served to make the story realistic, because the photos and text were so dramatic, it was easy for readers to distance themselves from the reality.
I found that there was very little to critique about this piece, with the exception that this piece was not ideal to view on a mobile phone. The photos are in high definition and in landscape format, making this a piece more fitting for laptop, desktop, or tablet viewing. The text, however, was well sized on the phone view, making it easy to read.