Multimedia storytellingIn some situations, the newspaper’s website could be the primary vehicle for reporting the news. Coverage is “web first” and often with a 24-hour news cycle as the core value. But what is multimedia journalism?It’s the basic fundamentals of good storytelling – strong characters, plot, a narrative arc, a climax, a conclusion, along with new techniques and tools: 1. Multimedia is nonlinear, meaning more than just reading or watching from beginning to end; offers multiple ways into a story 2. Multimedia is multisensory – eyes, ears, mind and more – and constantly evolving – successful journalists make use of the new technologies and storytelling forms as they become available.
Web-only Changes• The website for a newspaper often changes in instances of a hurricane or other breaking news• Sometimes, to better present the news as it evolves – adding a bright red bar to the top of the homepage helps report breaking news. • For hurricanes and the like, links to external pages such as weather and government sites • You could stream live video of the storm via Livestream or Youstream • Interactive maps could help readers click on particular areas of the campus and view pictures or read reports of closures, flooding or damage.
Web-only Changes• During an emergency or breaking news situation, (think Casey Anthony murder trial) the mission of the newspaper should be to serve the community by giving them info right away and making is accessible • That’s the primary purpose of journalism: to provide citizens with the information they need and seek to be self-governing. And, your first loyalty, as a journalist, is to your devotion to your citizens without fear or favor You are encouraged to read The Elements of Journalism if you want to learn more about what news people should know and the public should expect. It’s a great read!
Choosing the right medium – attributions and limitations of each• Don’t send a videographer out on every assignment or make a slideshow just because there are photos.• First, you need to think critically about what each medium offers, and also what it takes to produce:• Text: good for explaining concepts, providing background and context. Text may be the best way to explain news.• Video: captures action, sports, talent. Can be useful for showing motion• Audio: stories with a strong sound component; personal interviews or marching bands, parades, public speeches• Graphics: handy when you have lots of info or numbers; maps• Photos: particular moments in time or a collection of images that together tell the story, a slideshow or audio slideshow
How to be a 5-pool player• If you’ve got action, use video. If a story has a strong sound component, like music, include audio.• Make it interactive, too. Give readers something to do, click and comment, or polls to share their opinions or experiences.• Keep videos short and don’t be afraid to get close. People don’t have the patience to watch long videos from far away. Put your lens six inches away from a painter’s brush and get the bristles bending.• Write a script – simple two columns with audio and video matched up – plan a strong of images in video and slideshows. Multimedia stories should not at random• Show, don’t tell – go the extra mile to make stories personal
Sound• Audio can be used to enhance still photos or text.• Podcasts and radio shows are free to produce and convenient on mobiles• Think about 3 types of sound: • Interviews with sources: experts, witnesses, people reacting to a story – will provide backbone of most stories • Natural sound: also know as nat sound or ambient noise – sounds around the subject: click of shoes, shutting of door, street traffic, crowd noises, music playing, silence • Voiceover or narration: provides context so listeners can better understand the story • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtfQXwBXiPE&list=UUUHUeZ4_lS XdYpoQS3_D2_g&index=24
Video• Short, no more than 3 to 5 minutes – 90 is plenty• Don’t tell whole story – tighten your focus to a narrow story or small part of life – a portrait of a person that represents an issue• Use text and other media, too• A-roll is interviews and B-roll is background or supplementary footage, behind the scenes• Narrative arc: clear and logical way to tell the story – may be chronological or show a process• Strengthen your story with a distinctive protagonist• More than the interview – variety of content and shots
Before moving on to The Scribe,• Video stories need a story: narrative, thought, sources from all sides, structure and a compelling open and close.• Sound familiar?• If you want to, we can talk about you covering the campuses using multimedia only.
The Scribe: Newspaper or News Organization?• No matter how small the school or how tiny the staff, you should think of your print publication as a part of an integrated news operation that’s ready to cover news about your campus community at every hour of the day and night.• We are a news organization because: • We publish content to the website first, not waiting for the paper • We post content to the website every day – or pretty close • We cover news, including sports, arts and cultural events, as it breaks. • We use multiple media, audio, text, video, graphics and photos to tell stories • We use social media to find, report and distribute the news
Newspaper vs. News Organization• With the web, there’s no excuse to wait for your print publication or limit yourself to what works best in print.• Some worry about cannibalizing their print publication by posting to the web first; they think people won’t read their story if it includes info that’s already published online.• But you must understand three fundamental truths: (along with this: you can get anyone to read anything if you write it well enough)
Newspaper vs. News Organization• Audiences for print and online are different – your website goes to the world where alumni, parents and prospective students and random Googlers can find it• Print and online products are different – print offers after-the-fact news accounts. Online reports news as it happens in text, video, photo, etc., and can be updated on a moment’s notice.• Consumers now expect to read about news as it happens – your readers don’t want to wait for the next issue to find out what the college president said at the press conference about tuition or who won the baseball game.
Newspaper vs. News Organization• So, for each story, you should be publishing something on the blog now. Why not? People want news.• For the reporters covering events like at Kennedy Space Center, they should have filed a “reaction” piece right after the event so it’s published immediately. Better yet, the reporters should have been tweeting their first reactions and telling the readers what to look for on the website and in the newspaper, eventually.
Newspaper vs. News Organization• The lesson here: online and print must work together.• The more you start to think of yourself as a round-the- clock news source, the more your readers will see you that way and come to your website as the go-to destination for news.• How do you do this with a job, other classes and a social life? You just start somewhere. Give it 20 minutes a day. It may not be worth a 500 word story, but it might be worth a paragraph or brief. Don’t “news dump.”
Online differences from print• Immediacy – post stories in minutes after news breaks• Space – there’s no limit to what you can run• Multimedia – the web offers the ability to transmit audio and video allowing you to tell stories in new and creative ways• Interactivity – polls, quizzes, reader feedback, user- generated content and discussion forums can all enhance news coverage, engage readers and help the newspaper gauge interest• Linking – connect readers to other parts of your site and to other sites you can add context and depth to your stories (such as police reports and court documents or “ransom” notes)
Writing for the web• Reading text online is different than reading printed text.• Eye-tracking research reveals that eyes often sweep across a page from left to right when people read online and that they tend to focus most on the top left corner of the page.• They primarily pay attention to headlines and subheads, boldfaced terms and images and often stop reading when faced with long blocks of uninterrupted text.• To keep your readers’ attention, writers and editors need to present text in a different way online than they would in print. Text needs to be easier to scan, for one.
How to make y/our website more readable• Write short: use short sentences and short paragraphs.• Use bulleted and numbered lists: when you have multiple points to make, create a list like this one that puts the most important info in boldface.• Position your content where people are most likely to see it: Put the most important content in the upper-left area of the screen.• Frontload your content: put the most important words at the beginning of the sentences, headlines, subheads and lists.• Write clear headlines and subheads that stand alone: use direct, literal language rather than puns or clichés.• Don’t assume readers know where you are: avoid writing “the state” or “our county.”• Avoid or explain local references: readers may not understand inside- jokes or nicknames.
You should have a blog. And be writing.• It’s free.• You can get your name out there.• Practice makes perfect.