This semester has flown by. I can’t believe we are already approaching finals week. In regards to this class, I can’t believe how much I learned in such a short period of time. Before this class, I would never felt comfortable shooting my own video. I had never thought about all the different parts of multimedia journalism stories. Now, I analyze every news package I see on TV, looking for 5 shot sequences and listening for nat sound.
I understand now the technicalities behind multimedia. The question that is still being answered, at least for me personally, is how does multimedia serve journalism? how does it make it better?
The reason I clicked on this article, about a python eating a drunkenly passed out man, was the astonishing picture. I clicked on this video, about Black Friday shopping, because I wanted to actually see shoppers in action. Multimedia elements draw an audience in because they are often more stimulating that just text. Before multimedia, headlines were the main draw for readers. Then pictures took that role. Now, videos take you deeper into the story, stimulating both your eyes and ears.
But is multimedia always better than text? While it may attract an audience, sometimes the best way to report is through standard text stories. Some topics, like NYSE activity, does not always have the visuals to capture an audience. How much does a picture of Wall Street or video of the trading floor add to the audiences’ understanding of the story?
Does multimedia discredit things that don’t have strong multimedia elements?
In my opinion, text stories with information graphics is still the best way to explain complex stories. Some of the best examples can be seen in Time Magazine and the Economist. Pictures and video add sensory elements that may further that understanding, but really if a reader is captivated by the writing, text will suffice. I am excited to find more ways to tell the important stories the right way, to make it comprehensible for readers, while also cultivating interest and furthering understanding through multimedia.
I think I still have more to learn when it comes to discovering how to do that, but this class has at least given me the basic knowledge and tools to start figuring it out.