Blog #1: Jack’s Heat

The above multimedia clip from ESPN’s E:60 features Jack Burleson, an 18-year-old with oral-facial-digital syndrome, or OFD. Despite having severe disabilities that do not allow him to walk, see or hear normally, Burleson was able to join his high school’s track team. When Burleson began to compete, his competitors would purposely run slow to ensure that Burleson would win.

The clip does a good job of presenting an extremely emotional story in a positive light. Not only does it show how the video affected Burleson’s position on the track and field team, but how he was able to gain more confidence and help live a more normal life. His newly gained confidence eventually persuaded his classmates to name him IKing of the Ball at his high school’s dance.

However, perhaps the greatest element of the multimedia piece is the different layers to the story. There is the focus on Jack, but there is also focus on his dad, his mom, his brother, his coach, his teammates and even his competitors. Presenting their point of views of how Jack’s condition affects their daily lives helped add to the story.

The only thing that the piece is missing is what Burleson’s goals for his future were. It shows what he’s been doing since he graduated, which is attending a transitional school before college. However, it does not even say if he’s planning on attending college, or what he’s interested in studying. While his disabilities may prevent him from living a normal life, he most likely still has goals for his future.

Overall, this video is extremely well done and is the perfect example of how to tell a story through multimedia.

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