1. Take a story from the Star
Tribune, Pioneer Press or a local TV report
within the last week about a government or civic issue. Now, put
yourself in the position of a multimedia reporter. What parts of the
story would like to actually see? Hear? Read more about?
2. Outline those multimedia elements you
believe increase your desire to see, hear, or read more about something. For
instance, do you need a map to be able to tell where something is? Do you want
to see or
hear those angry neighbors protesting a tax increase? Do you want
to actually read the parking law the city now says it will vigorously
3. Identify a concept in Chapter 2 the author says that you agree or disagree with and then explain why you do or don't agree with it.
The Star Tribune's Wednesday cover story was emphasized the personal loss of General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) in profiles of low-income Minnesotans who will be switched to MinnesotaCare, a plan with caps on coverage and insurance premiums, on March 31.
The story worked well in print. It put the reader in the place of the retired concrete worker and low-income cancer victim that it profiled with pictures and quotes, supplementing these personal aspects with the policy information that the reader needed to know to get a better understanding of the story. In my opinion, however, the story could have packed more punches in broadcast.
A major disadvantage of print is that, while the stories of these people are very compelling and well-told in the paper, it would effect me more to be able to step into the context of their situation by seeing their conditions first hand--the shelters and the subsidized housing, rather than reading about it. I want to hear them tell their story to me--reading about is more like learning it through a mediator. That's why I think this story would lend itself well to broadcast.
I think that an unfortunate aspect about seeing this in broadcast would be the loss of some of the policy aspects. For this reason, I think the ideal multimedia package for this story is an online article with videos of the interviews. It could retain its informative aspects while giving people a personal context of the people who were profiled.
I like it when multimedia news outlets supplement their stories with documents that increase my understanding of the issue at hand. In the case of this story, the Star Tribune's website has a summary of notable GAMC facts in the sidebar to the right of the story. After I read the story, this gave me a quick summary of its underpinnings.
I agree with the textbook authors that with the advent of online journalism, good graphics are becoming more important. I agree that simplicity, clear attribution and the ability to stand alone are important components of story-accompanying graphics in order to boil down the important information for the readers. Sometimes there seem to be graphics in stories that take more time to interpret than reading the story itself.