Blog One: One by one, Missouri’s black towns disappear – Al Jazeera

A recent Mizzou graduate wrote this piece on Black towns in our home state of Missouri and how they have been disproportionately disenfranchised. The piece is an interactive story featuring pictures, audio and external supporting links. 

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I absolutely love this piece. The author truly captures the devastation, hurt and hope of the people in these defunct towns. HIs language and description makes the reader feel as if they are right there in the Pinhook, Pennytown and Kinloch. 

Not only do I love the content, I love the format. This piece is written in long form. There are five chapters which include an introduction, a chapter about each of the three towns and a conclusion bringing all of the stories together. While this story isn’t extremely interactive like the ones we’ve read in class, it definitely brings in components that make it a journey to navigate. I love the fact that the author brings in external elements to support his facts. He links the reader to stories printed during that time so we can see what America was reading when these tragedies occurred. This is more than just a quick read. It makes you want to learn more about these towns and those like it around the nation. 

I wish the author would have included more pictures and more interviews. Nothing compares to hearing the voice of the people effected and seeing their faces. I would have liked to see an interactive video or tour of the defunct towns as well.

Overall, I enjoyed this piece. I believe the author used great storytelling methods and effective multimedia to create a true experience. 



One thought on “Blog One: One by one, Missouri’s black towns disappear – Al Jazeera

  1. I remember stumbling across this last semester when I was trying to dig up story ideas for my convergence reporting class. I started to read it and was impressed — then glanced back up at the byline to see who wrote it and realized it was the guy I saw just about every other day in the Futures Lab. So, first off, awesome work by a Mizzou student.

    I agree, I do like the layout. The chapter navigation was particularly clever. I feel like that gives readers a good way to get around the story rather than having to scroll all the time. I think the photos could have been larger, too. Perhaps a slideshow could have been a better way to organize some of the photos. Or maybe a larger version could have popped up if you click on the image. But, overall, I enjoyed the piece and thought the multimedia and layout complemented the story well.


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