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ISOJ 2004

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  1. 1. Redefining Multimedia Toward A More Packaged Journalism Online By Amy Zerba
  2. 2. Multimedia Online • •
  3. 3. Why define multimedia on news sites? • No clear definition of multimedia • What does it look like? • What does it do? • Purpose: Operational definition for future studies.
  4. 4. What is a medium? • Medium is a means of communication, a tool, to transmit a message. • A photograph is a medium (text, audio, video, graphics) • A newspaper is a medium (film, TV, radio, magazine, Internet, books) • Surface level: All transmit messages
  5. 5. Multimedia Literature • Integration of more than one medium • Predates computers • Classroom learning • Purpose: Increases understanding of information using additional channels.
  6. 6. Method • Deconstruct concept into units • Previous literature on multimedia • Interviewed seven multimedia journalists • Snowball method for in-depth interviews • 1-2 hour interviews in Sept.-Oct. 2002
  7. 7. Method • • • • South Florida Sun-Sentinel • Herald-Sun • • Freelance multimedia journalist/lecturer at UC Berkeley
  8. 8. Research Questions • RQ1. What is a multimedia feature? • RQ2. What is a multimedia package? • RQ3. What can multimedia online give readers that they cannot get from reading text?
  9. 9. What is a multimedia feature? • Text • Photographs • Audio • Video • Graphics Tangible media – we can see and hear
  10. 10. What is a multimedia feature? • Interactivity repeatedly mentioned as a multimedia feature. • Use of “multimedia” as a noun or adjective • Something is multimedia; and • Something acts like multimedia
  11. 11. What is a multimedia feature? • A photo slideshow without audio? • An interactive map without audio?
  12. 12. What is a multimedia feature? • A lot of “I-think-so,” “probably” “technically, it’s just one [medium].” • Uncertainty about multimedia concept • Examples above part of larger context
  13. 13. Interactivity • No clear definition • Requires a related response component in the communication exchange. (3-step communication process) • A hyperlink is the simplest level of interactivity.
  14. 14. What is a multimedia package? • More than one medium (static, dynamic) • Context • Interactivity A multimedia package consists of more than one medium in combination with interactivity that is related to a story, event or information.
  15. 15. Model of Multimedia Package Fig. 1.1 Pre-Computer model of Multimedia Package Fig. 1.2 News site model of Multimedia Package
  16. 16. What does multimedia give readers that text cannot? • Purpose: Additional ways to understand information. • Theme: User Involvement (heightened user experience)
  17. 17. User involvement with multimedia • “I got this email before that said, ‘I’ll never look at a computer the same way again. … … For some people this was the first emotional experience they’ve ever had with a computer that didn’t involve a member of the family or email with a grandfather, and that’s sort of a new thing.” (J. Weiss, Sept. 27, 2002, Herald-Sun)
  18. 18. What does multimedia give readers that text cannot? • Theme: Extension of reporting • Some things better told with added media. • The art of multimedia: Picking and choosing of media to tell a story.
  19. 19. Extension of multimedia • “I did a story about an … Elvis tribute artist … that had to be done in video. I mean I couldn’t see that any other way. You had to see this guy move. And so, it doesn’t feel like it’s actually a decision, it just sort of feels like well, that’s the way I should have done it.” (J. Weiss, Sept. 27, 2002, Herald-Sun)
  20. 20. In summary • Multimedia feature is the integration of more than one medium. • Multimedia features on news sites: text, photographs, graphics, audio and video (static or dynamic) • Multimedia package consists of more than one medium combined with interactivity that is related to a story, event or information.
  21. 21. In summary • Primary purpose of multimedia on news Web sites is to give users additional ways to understand a story. • Heightened user involvement in a story • Extension of reporting
  22. 22. Closing Remarks • Purpose of study: Definition of multimedia package • Young adults? Non-readers? • Different learning styles? • Time multimedia journalists put into producing packages – users even care? • Future Study: Dimensions of multimedia? • Future Study: Uses and Gratifications?