Putting it all together
Not all stories make good multimedia stories. (These are the stories you
can’t easily do over the phone.)
A multimedia story is some combination of:
Interactivity (polls, quizzes, etc.)
These components are presented on a website in a nonlinear format in
which THE INFORMATION IN EACH MEDIUM IS
COMPLEMENTARY, NOT REDUNDANT.
Herald Sun’s Touching Hearts
New York Times’ Race In America
Web shells and multimedia stories
Two other important characteristics of storytelling on the Web:
To achieve these, multimedia stories are wrapped in a story
“shell” that provides background information, including:
These shells can also be a part of a beat for more general
information on a topic.
All of this comes together to make a multimedia package.
Types of shells
A storyboard is a sketch of how to organize a story and
a list of its contents. It helps you:
Define the parameters of a story within available resources and
Organize and focus a story
Figure out what medium to use for each part of the story
How to do a storyboard
Divide the story into its logical, nonlinear parts, such
A lead or nut graph
Profiles of the main person or people in the story
The event or situation
Any process or how something works
Pros and cons
The history of the event or situation
Other related issues raised by the story
Divide the contents of the story among the media
What pieces work best in video?
What works best in still photos?
Does audio work best within the video or by itself?
What part of the story works best in graphics?
Does the story need a map?
What part of the story belongs in text?
Make sure the info in each is not redundant.
Interactivity means giving the reader both input and control in
a story. (Nonlinear stories are interactive.)
What will the main page look like and which elements
will you include?
What’s the nut graph?
What are the links to the other sections of the story?
What’s the menu or navigation scheme for accessing those
What visuals do you want to include on this main page?
Do the same for the inside pages.
Storyboarding points out holes in your story. It helps
you identify the resources you’ll need to complete
your story, or how you have to modify the story to
adjust to your resources.