“7/7 – The Mobile Experience”
WFAA’s “7/7 mobile experience” is an excellent example of the power of digital and alternative storytelling forms being employed to tell a story in new and visceral ways. In this piece, which was published exactly one year after the Dallas police shootings that rocked the city and its residents, viewers could see how the news event unfolded throughout the evening and into the next morning – from its beginning as a peaceful protest against the police shootings of unarmed black men in Louisiana and Minnesota to the eventual death of the shooter after he killed five police officers and wounded several others, including two civilians.
Presenting the story as a text exchange between someone on the scene protesting and a friend trying to make his way to downtown Dallas proved to be a chilling and inventive way to reach new audiences. WFAA was thoughtful both in the way it distributed the story at the exact time of the shootings, one year later, but also in framing the story with a warning to potential viewers about what the story contained.
Congratulations on this fine piece of creative, immersive work.
Amy L. Kovac-Ashley
Newsroom Learning Director, American Press Institute
Amy L. Kovac-Ashley leads the newsroom learning program at the American Press Institute, where she focuses on professional development and newsroom culture.
She has been a reporter and editor at such media outlets at Foreign Policy magazine, The Roanoke Times, The Washington Post and Patch. She has also been a journalism educator, most recently as a visiting assistant professor and managing director of the Reed College of Media Innovation Center at West Virginia University. From 2012 to 2015, she was the assistant dean of Georgetown’s master’s in journalism program. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and Stanford University.
To experience WFAA-TV’s overall excellence on this prize-winning series, select the link following a message from the station below:
It was July 7, 2017, and we wanted people not just to remember, but to feel. We wanted people to feel the innocence and hope that turned to terror and shock when the shots rang out and just seemed to keep coming.
This video was created by the WFAA digital team as a dramatization of the Dallas police ambush using actual footage and social media posts.
It’s presented as a text exchange between Eric, a protestor and a friend who is on his way to Downtown Dallas when all hell breaks loose.
We delivered this video to phones all over North Texas at 8:59 p.m. Friday, July 7, the exact moment of the anniversary of the attack with this WFAA push alert: ‘You’re in downtown Dallas, July 7, 2016: your mobile experience starts now.”
We present this in honor and tribute to the 12 officers shot and the 5 who paid the ultimate price.