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Online + reporting

Computer assisted reporting and multimedia storytelling

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Online + reporting

  1. 1. COMPUTER + REPORTING Computer Assisted Reporting & Multimedia Storytelling BY UJJWAL ACHARYA WhiteHouse GSM / BLAS / Semester VII
  2. 2. Newsroom a few years ago… In 1998, when I joined Nepal Samacharpatra, the newsroom had no computers! Designers used computers – mostly Macintosh – to typeset/design pages. Reporters handwrote news! In 2001, I moved to The Kathmandu Post and was mesmerized to see computer on every desk.
  3. 3. Newsroom today Modern newsroom are incomplete without internet-connected computer terminals. Computers are used to write, edit and copy-edit. Page designers use computers to design pages and photojournalists use them to correct photos. More importantly, computers are increasingly used for performing core journalistic activities like newsgathering.
  4. 4. CAR Computer Assisted Reporting (CAR), sometime also called Computer Assisted Journalism (CAJ). CAR is the use of computers and social science methods to acquire and analyze information to do stories that otherwise would be difficult. CAR also refers to researching for new information and background for a story. CAR is closely tied to "precision" or "analytic" journalism, which refer to the use of techniques of the social sciences by journalists.
  5. 5. Why CAR? CAR enables us to publish stories obtained from datamining. CAR helps us create, or improve, the watchdog culture at our newspapers. A database, a spreadsheet, helps us get some stories that just cant be acquired any other way. They also help us add depth and detail that fascinate readers.
  6. 6. Be Warned! CAR does not make reporting faster! Proper use of CAR needs intermediate level computer skills.  Computers do what you TELL them to do, not what you WANT them to do.  Garbage In Garbage Out (GIGO) CAR is a supplementary of reporting!
  7. 7. 4 Rs of CAR Reporting  Use of computer/software to interview, gather primary information or data analysis Research  Use of computer to search secondary information Reference  Use of computer for checking facts, spelling etc. Rendezvous  Getting tips from other in chatroom/social media  Ron DeBrock (1999)
  8. 8. 3 COMMON USESEmail, Search & Reference
  9. 9. Email A medium of communication Advantages:  Convenience: cuts distance / time / money  Writer can edit messages.  No requirement of being available at the same time.  No transcription required.  Archived! Disadvantages:  Receiver may ignore it.  No spontaneity as in the conversation.
  10. 10. Web Search How search engines like yahoo/google works?  They have crawlers that regularly crawls webpages all over the internet and indexes words.  When you enter a word, it then searches on the database and returns pages with that word. Web search is weird!  It’s like looking for a needle in an stadium, but there are ways to find the exact information you need.
  11. 11. Search Engines
  12. 12. Search Engines
  13. 13. Better Searching Use more words (six to eight is the best) Use unusual words (common are everywhere) Use phrases on quotation marks  ―WhiteHouse GSM‖ Use mathematics  WhiteHouse GSM means either of the words  WhiteHouse+GSM means both words  ―WhiteHouse GSM‖ means the exact word  WhiteHouse-GSM means WhiteHouse but not GSM
  14. 14. Google is more… Unit/Currency Converter  41 lbs in kg or 50 meters in feet  100 NPR in USD or 100 GBP in INR Sports scores  Just type name of the club  Manchester United or Chelsea World Wide Clock  Time Kathmandu or Time New York (current time) Calculator  13+45-65= or 5*9+(sqrt 10)^3=
  15. 15. Reference Dictionary  Type define followed the word you want meaning of in Google and it will produce you meaning from various dictionaries  Example: define:rendezvous Wikipedia  Great source of information but needed to treated with caution WordWeb  Available at
  16. 16. Reporting for Online MediaMultimedia Story Telling
  17. 17. Writing for the Web Writing for Online Media? KISS (Keep it short and simple) paragraphs Use informative subheadings Link to other articles/sites you’re referencing Use bulleted lists to break things up Meant to be published and updated Includes list of relevant links
  18. 18. Writing for the Web Combine print and broadcast styles As in stories for print:  Inverted pyramid style  Write to be read rather than heard Like in stories to broadcast:  Conversational tone  Short, declarative sentences / simple words  Immediacy is important
  19. 19. Multimedia Storytelling A multimedia story is some combination of text, still photographs, video clips, audio, graphics and interactivity presented on a Web site in a nonlinear format in which the information in each medium is complementary not redundant. Nonlinear means that rather than reading a rigidly structured single narrative, the user chooses how to navigate through the elements of a story. Not redundant means that rather than having a text version of a story accompanied by a video clip that essentially tells the same story, different parts of a story are told using different media.
  20. 20. Multimedia Storytelling Choosing a story The best multimedia stories are multidimensional  Video, audio, graphics/charts Nonlinear stories are better  Stories that have tid-bits
  21. 21. Creating a storyboard A storyboard of multimedia possibilities created before heading out into the field.  Conduct preliminary research.  Collect already available visuals - photos, videos, maps and graphics - from your sources. Identification  Video best to show the action  Best to interviews  Text always essential  Graphs/charts best for data  Photo best to show the emotion
  22. 22. Reporting for Multimedia Story Requirement  Camera (still and video)  Recorder (and microphone)  Laptop  Essentials  Batteries  Cables  Tapes / memory cards  Cell phones  GPS  Lens  Notebooks  Pens
  23. 23. Editing Unlike other journalism, here editing comes before writing (audio/video editing)  Videos/Audios need to be clear and short  Basically internet videos are low frame rate (fps) so action-packed videos looks poor  No background music and sfx for audio  Audio should be high-quality and if possible with subtitles  Photos can be used as individual image or slide shows  Maps can have clickable areas/zooming feature
  24. 24. Producing Multimedia Story Multimedia journalists have multiple editors:  There are your actual editors, and then there are your designers and Web developers. You can’t— and aren’t usually expected to—do it all yourself.  Developers/designers fine-tune the layout, help with technical glitches and make sure the presentation follows the sites style.
  25. 25. THANK YOU