By Virginia Rice
Monday, Jul. 05, 2010
Living in Limbo: The Asylum Problem
By Krista Mahr / Tanjung Pinang
Beyond just a feature story, this in depth look at the asylum problem internationally is well rounded with multiple stories, statistics, links, and opinions. The article “Living in Limbo: The Asylum Problem” finds that middle ground between a ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ news story by looking at the results of international conflicts like the War in Iraq and how it is causing thousands to seek refuge by means of asylum around the world. This article connects to the hard issues of international conflict while balancing it with personal profiles of some being affected by this ever increasing problem. The voice of the article clearly states the problem without leaning towards one solution or another, keeping a well maintained balance throughout.
What I like most is that the article doesn’t follow the inverted pyramid form, or even the Kabob form. Rather, it utilizes what feature stories can only do; make its own form. There are four subheads to this article that present several different takes on this same subject of refugees living in ‘limbo’ while they seek asylum status. The personal profile of Sayed Ali Jan and his wife opens the article, making a connection with readers to another human being. It recreates the scene of when he was attacked by Taliban while working and the hardships it inflicted on his family. He and his wife seek refuge in Indonesia but are left stranded as many others are by the inability of countries to host the increasing number of refugees, especially in areas like the Middle East.
Throughout the article are links to related videos, stories, and articles that can help readers go even more in depth on particle areas of the information provided. This is helpful because some readers may not understand how conflicts worldwide are causing thousands of refugees to seek asylum in location like Australia. Throughout are also constants connections between previous subheads and the next, which gives the article a nice overall readability. It flows like a short prose almost, but with much more statistical information provided. All of those are backed by sources, making the story more impactful because there are no flaws in the logic. What I appreciated most in this article was the ability to present opinion without overbearing ideas. The authors carefully construct how the solution is not black and white and that is will take international unity to really provide for these people. They also discuss solutions that have proven to work, showing that there are potential answers out there. Overall it provides multiple views of the same situation with overbearing the reader with too much information resulting in a well crafted feature story.