The Lifeline

The Lifeline

A three-part series following wounded soldiers being medically treated in Iraq, a lifesaving process unmatched in past wars.

A Los Angeles Times reporter and photographer spent several weeks together embedded with Army and Air Force medical units in Baghdad and Balad, Iraq, and with two Army air ambulance medical companies at the Balad military air base north of Baghdad. This three-part series, incorporating audio-slideshows narrated by both the patients and medical personnel, is the result of those assignments.

They followed five wounded troops through a system of military medical care more advanced than in any previous conflict. The two journalists were provided complete access to the work of doctors, surgeons, nurses and Black Hawk medevac helicopter crews as they evacuated and treated wounded U.S. troops, Iraqi military and police, and Iraqi civilians. The access extended to helicopters and operating rooms. The resulting images are graphic and intimate.

This is a good example of how audio can enhance strong still photographs and take a presentation to an even more intimate level. It is one thing to see military surgeries and hospitals. Hearing the voices of nurses helping soldiers make phonecalls home moves the storytelling to an entirely different level.

Photographs of the Year International Competition: First-place winner, Best Multimedia News Story or Essay.

Photography, audio: Rick Loomis
Reporting: David Zucchino
Designer: Stephanie Ferrell
Multimedia producer: John Vande Wege
Interactive designer: Bill Bergren
Production: Diana Swartz

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