Jacqueline Kennedy’s “Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy,” released earlier this month, is a prime example of enduring audio.
Her daughter, Caroline Kennedy decided to release the tapes in conjunction with a book to add her mother’s accounts of life with JFK to public history. Through these tapes we get a personal look into the life of Jackie O, who rarely met with the press for interviews. The oral history has humanized the woman and American icon.
Many of the more salacious sound bites have gotten attention in the media, but this multimedia timeline created by ABC encompasses a broader picture of what the tapes say about Jackie and the Kennedy family.
The multimedia timeline of Jacqueline Kennedy “In Her Own Words,” is an integration of excerpts of her speaking with a backtrack of music, film, and images from the time period.
The timeline has interactive Flash features that allow you to click on a date and access images and audio from that period. All of the multimedia (images, audio, and film) is accompanied by a brief sidebar explaining the context of what is happening. The format is so effective because rather than providing only audio, the images and film create an emotion toward the subject.
One aspect of this multimedia that is somewhat distracting, which is unavoidable because of its production by a broadcasting company, is the narration. I would have preferred simply seeing the black and white photos alongside the audio.