Analysis: Multimedia usage in the New York Times and Washington Post

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By Kelsey Lund

The New York Times multimedia site and the Washington Post multimedia site are surprisingly different in the variety of multimedia options they offer.

The New York Times seems to boast a larger variety of multimedia options, providing maps, graphics, audio, interactive features, and pictures.The Washington Post focuses mostly on photos on its multimedia homepage, but contains a sidebar with links to news video, documentary video, and more photos.

The photos on the multimedia sites help to complement new stories by giving the reader a different angle on popular topics. For example, the Washington Post has photos entitled "Moammar Gaddafi through the years," which is a slideshow showing the history of Gaddafi's reign in pictures, giving readers a chance to succinctly see Gaddafi's history in Libya, rather than read a lengthy biography.

The photos also may help the reader to see parts of the news that sometimes a story can't tell. For example, the New York Times' "Map of Key Locations in Manama, Bahrain" gives readers insight into the protests in Bahrain from a geographical understanding. Similarly the New York Times' "Searching for Survivors after New Zealand Quake" slideshow gives readers a look at the scope of destruction that a story could not explain as fully.

For photos, and other multimedia video/audio, the writing is minimal and maintains the hard news style consistent with hard news stories. The photos generally tell most of the story, while the accompanying writing simply directs the reader to the important facts of the photo. Only one or two sentences tell the story of the photo, and the sentences are concise.

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This page contains a single entry by lund1096 published on February 24, 2011 10:21 PM.

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