Analysis: News organizations' use of multimedia

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Many news organizations are attempting to emphasize multimedia options for their stories. One interesting example of this I found on the Star Tribune's website called "Frozen face of Minnesota." This news story was actually based off of multimedia rather than the other way around.

Renowned British photographer Martin Parr spent some time in Minnesota documenting the ice and how people interact with it. The Star Tribune had a reporter shadow him while he was here and narrate his trip. The story ran with Parr's photographs, the reporter's writing supporting these photographs, and a video clip of the reporter and another Star Tribune employee discussing the experience in an interview-type setting.

Although this was not a hard news story, it was very interesting to see an example where the writing hinges on the multimedia. In this way I thought they were very complementary, because without the narration of the story, we wouldn't have known as many details of what was happening in the photo. Each section of the story included description and anecdotes of the places Parr took photographs.

I also thought it was interesting the way the Star Tribune included the video of the two reporters discussing the story in addition to the slideshow of Parr's photos. With the story right there, I didn't expect to see a video that basically reiterated the same information, but this was another example of emphasizing multimedia rather than print.

Another example of a news organization emphasizing multimedia is the Minnesota Daily. Many stories are accompanied by single photographs, graphics, or photograph slideshows. The story "Painters today, leaders forever" includes a written story and is accompanied by large main photo and a slideshow of others.

In this case, the photographs complement the writing by helping the reader visually see students putting in time and effort to a nonprofit organization rather than simply reading about it. The dramatic lighting in the photos can catch readers' eyes and draw them into the story perhaps more than the title of this piece could.

The Minnesota Daily also includes videos that are not part of a longer story, but only includes a caption. The recent feature, "The Gopher Chauffeur", is an example of this. A videographer shadows the employees of the late-night free taxi service sponsored by the University to create a documentary-style video. The video includes candid responses from the employees, rowdy students using the service, and even a puke shot.

This story was entirely multimedia, and included almost no text besides the short caption. I felt a story or at least a longer, more descriptive caption would have been a benefit to this story, because although the video was very interesting to watch, I had almost no idea what it was about and under usual circumstances I probably wouldn't have clicked on it.

1 Comment

Really nice work, Alysha. Keep it up.

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This page contains a single entry by boha0054 published on February 26, 2012 4:11 PM.

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