By Christina Munnell
I found an investigative story about fraudulent-researched drugs on ProPublica.org through the Nicar link. In the article "FDA Let Drugs Approved on Fraudulent Research Stay on the Market." writer Rob Garver uncovers the truth about prescription drugs consumers frequently use. According to his research, there are about 100 drugs-including painkillers and chemotherapy compounds-that FDA officials deemed safe for consumer use but did not actually pass research tests. Garver used basic computer skills to gather this information and put the story together. The interactive elements of the story's webpage give his writing more appeal and really draws in readers.
Most of the interactive elements on this page are links to other pages. However, all of the links seem to "jump out" at readers and keep them engaged because they highlight a few key, interesting words. For example, one of the bold links says "FDA records," while another emphasizes "accompanying story." What I especially enjoyed about some of the links is that they were provided for certain facts or people I did not know. The writer gave links to background information for both Cetero and Lazanda, two FDA officials. Overall, links to all of Garver's research and data are what makes this story credible, interesting, and engaging.
Along with links and graphics in this story, there is one other interactive piece I have never seen before. There is an interactive "key points" chart. Because this is a longer piece, the writer found the most important elements of the story and compiled them in a chart towards the beginning. Each key point has a link to it and when the reader clicks on it, they are able to jump to that spot in the story where that topic is covered. I think this is a really smart idea, especially when readers do not have time to read the entire story. This is beneficial in that readers are at least getting some of the story's content, rather than skipping right over it because it is too long. Though the interactive aspects of this story are quite simple, they add that quality that makes the audience want to keep reading. It really has that "get lost in it" feeling.