Video: Dail, Life Unbarred


“In late August, Dwayne Dail , 39, was exonerated after serving 18 years for a crime he didn’t commit. A 12-year-old Goldsboro girl pointed to him as the man who raped her; a jury believed her. Dail spent half his life behind bars until the N.C. Center for Actual Innocence uncovered evidence containing DNA that authorities thought had been destroyed after Dail’s trial”

Dail: Life UnbarredDropped Frames

“More than one multimedia journalism blogger has pointed to the Raleigh News & Observer’s (mainly) video story, Dail: Life Unbarred and, after spending half-an-hour with it I can see why: this is an outstanding piece of journalism.


The piece features photo galleries, audio and print, but at the centre of it is compelling video of Dwayne Dail, freed after spending 18 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. This is one the of few online video stories I’ve seen that held me not only through the main story but that led me into additional video material as well.


Everything comes together in this: story, subject and the work of talented journalists Shawn Rocco, Travis Long, Mandy Locke and others. Astonishingly, perhaps, this is the first bit of video storytelling that Rocco as done. As Chuck Fadely wrote in the Newspaper Video group forum, “Awesome. We should all strive to end up where they’re starting out.” (Details on how the project came together and was carried out are at Travis Long’s blog.)


This is powerful, powerful storytelling, the perfect match of subject and medium, an excellent example of what journalists can do with new tools. Astonishing, and I highly recommend it as a story to watch and learn from.”

Notes from a teacher





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