It’s not visual storytelling if you only listen to the video instead of watching it…

HuffPost puts out videos daily on their main website, but their YouTube channel is where they excel. It is difficult to sift through all the content on mobile and desktop to locate visual stories, since written articles vastly outnumber them. The YouTube platform, however, makes it easy for users on mobile and desktop browsers alike to scroll through all recent uploads or pick a playlist of videos within a certain genre to explore. They’ve amassed over 400,000 subscribers.

I came across this video on the video section of their main website. The topic is compelling, as are the interviews, but the visuals lack the same intensity.

Most of the shots are simply different views of the Brigham Young University campus or photos of the interview subjects that are unrelated to feminism, the topic at hand.

Furthermore, the interview subjects mention that the Mormon religion is rather hostile to feminism, but there are no photos or video clips inserted that prove this argument. Of course the subjects are credible, but visuals should back up their words anyway as quotes or data would back up their words in a written article.

Sadly, I found myself listening to the video and looking away from the screen because while the subjects’ words were compelling, the visuals added little to no value to the overall narrative.

Alternatively, this editorial video on Black Panther provides a relevant visual for each claim the commentator makes and integrates different visuals for added interest.

There are video clips of fans celebrating the film. Scenes from the movie itself remind fans why they enjoyed it and intrigue those who haven’t seen it yet.

These visuals are accompanied by the voiceover of HuffPost Black Voices Editor Taryn Finley, with video of Finley speaking staggered evenly throughout to keep it interesting. It is important to see her facial expressions every once in a while because she’s speaking about a topic she is passionate about (black representation in film); watching her speak is compelling.

Additionally, the video includes data visualization of how underrepresented black people are in the film industry to emphasize her argument that Black Panther is a cultural milestone.


Donald Trump Jr. makes an enemy on the US figure skating team

The media, HuffPost included, highlighted figure skater Adam Rippon as one to watch in Pyeongchang since he made history by becoming the first openly gay US figure skater to compete in the Olympics.

Rippon took to Twitter to express his feelings about Vice President Mike Pence, a longtime adversary of the LGBTQ community, and Donald Trump Jr. fired back.

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Even though the President himself did not get involved in the drama, the incident illustrates a level of hostility and division in the US that is rather troubling. It is unusual for the administration to publicly feud with Olympic athletes while they are representing the US on a worldwide stage.

Pence reached out to Rippon and declared his support, but it didn’t do much to resolve the tension. Following an NFL season full of protests condemned by Trump, sports and social issues continue to go hand-in-hand. Rippon, like many Eagles players, refuses to visit the White House to show his disdain for the Trump administration.

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Janet Jackson’s fans remain loyal 14 years after ‘nipplegate’

Justin Timberlake was quite a controversial choice for a halftime performer this year. Since the infamous wardrobe malfunction, he’s been invited back twice, while Janet Jackson is reportedly banned (whether this is a myth or a fact is unclear).

HuffPost highlighted some of the most touching tweets from Jackson’s fans, many of them famous themselves.

It took two to create the wardrobe malfunction in the first place, so it is confusing why the NFL treats one party so different than the other, fans argue. Furthermore, Jackson has been defined by that moment for 14 years, while Timberlake’s career continues to grow (quite a double standard). Her talent is still something to be celebrated, as this article and the social media outpouring prove.

I’m surprised the Huffington Post did not include some follow up commentary on the quality of Timberlake’s performance, since the coverage has been overwhelmingly negative. His show could’ve used the extra boost from Jackson, after all. Screenshot (2)

HuffPost’s Mission is to Listen

HuffPost (formerly called The Huffington Post) prides itself on being down to earth, especially considering the digital native began by emulating the style of a blog.

Editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen posed the following question in 2016 when she first took the positionWhat would it mean to create a news organization that saw itself not as writing about people who feel left out of the political, economic and social power arrangements, but for them?

Polgreen rebranded the site under a shorter, more casual name (and perhaps to signify the fact that founder Arianna Huffington was leaving to explore other ventures).

Inclusivity and diversity matter to HuffPost. The site includes a heading labelled “Communities” to share the voices of women, minorities, and the LGBT community.  There’s also a section dedicated to social justice.

The theme of gathering diverse perspectives to weigh in on current events carries over to their Twitter, where a different reporter or editor takes control each week.

Although HuffPost’s contributors come from all walks of life, their opinions tend not to vary too much; it’s no secret that the publication satisfies a liberal bias. Most coverage written about Trump or his colleagues carries a snarky tone. Since the HuffPost considers itself a voice for the people experiencing anger, voicelessness and powerlessness against those in power, this attitude is fitting.

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D.C. Graffiti Artist Highlights More Than Trump’s Unpopularity

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Photo by Travis Waldron/HuffPost

The Huffington Post followed homeless rapper Dirty Knucklez as he used a Sharpie marker to write the two words that encompass his feelings towards the current political, social, and economic climate, “F*** Trump”, on every surface within his reach in Washington D.C.

He tags the phrase hundreds of times each day in hopes of uniting the community, which he believes understands what it is like to experience hardships and shares his frustration with the Trump administration, at least to some extent. Knucklez’s hypothesis proves true, according to the anecdotes presented in the article.

The article details how this graffiti goes beyond vandalism and rebellion for Knucklez. He draws attention to gentrification in D.C., erasure of urban culture (including graffiti), and the incredible irony that 96% of people in D.C. voted for a candidate other than Trump in the 2016 election.

His disdain for the president is far from unusual or unique, but his position as a homeless person and a Muslim amplifies his opposition to Trump and his policies. His passion and pain is evident as the writer details Knucklez’s body language and tone of voice. 

The article hinges on an emotional appeal that clearly would not work on a staunch conservative reader; I doubt he or she would sympathize with a man who spends his days cursing the president’s name. The Huffington Post isn’t the go-to news site for conservatives, anyway, so the appeal works.