Megan Elliott

Online Blog

Multimedia Stories August 30, 2011

Filed under: Online Journalism — mellio10 @ 4:56 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

As technology is rapidly growing, journalism and media need to grow too. It is not uncommon for there to be multimedia such as photos, video, audio, and interactive maps attached to an article.  These things allow the reader the chance to get a more in-depth understanding of the story, and allow the journalist to report at a new, much more advanced and intriguing level.

One great example of a multimedia piece was a story done by the LA Times.  An audio slide show entitled “A Boy’s Struggle”.  It was part of an LA Times investigation, “Times Investigation: Failure Gets a Pass”.  The audio slide show features a story about a young

Image courtesy of Liz O. Baylen

boy who was sexually molested by a LA county school district employee.  It features audio from both the boy and his mother as well as some very intriguing pictures.  While viewing this slide show, the audio really added to the humanity of this family.  Instead of just reading a story about a child being molested, you got to experience it told in the family’s own words and you got to hear the pain in their voices, which allowed me to empathize with the victim.  The pictures were tastefully done and added to the experience.  They really kept me focused on the story.  It was also nice that I could read a little background about the story during the first minute of the slide show, instead of having to read a long article, but it was helpful that at the bottom of the slide show there were links to the full investigation as well as the article.

Another good example of multimedia journalism was another piece done by the LA Times entitled “Mexico Under Siege”.  This piece includes an interactive map, photos, video, and a media gallery.  All the various aspects of this piece add to the story and helped me see what kind of impact the drug war has had on both Mexico and the U.S.  The pictures especially added to the story.

Image courtesy of LA TImes

They made me realize that this is not just another story about drugs, instead it is a story about the affect drug wars have on communities and families. It humanizes the police fighting against organized crime as well as the drug cartels.  The interactive map was also helpful in displaying the death tolls as well as showing the areas where various drug cartels are stationed.  There were also several articles and featured updates on the main site which I thought would be helpful in allowing readers to follow the story continuously.  I felt this piece was extremely well done and did a great job of giving the reader an in-depth look at the drug war.

While there are many great multimedia pieces, there are some that are lacking and could use some development.  One such piece was published online with the Rapid City Journal, entitled “School 101: Surviving Kindergarten”.  While the pictures of the children were cute, I felt that I was just looking at a year book, and the photos did not look very professional.  The text was lacking, and just displayed quotes from the pictured child.  The reporter should have added background to the article to make clear what the primary focus was.

Now that the journalism world is changing, it is important for journalists to become familiar with the new ways of reporting a story. By adapting our various reporting techniques, journalists become more valuable and marketable and help ensure that they are an asset to the journalism world.


News Diet August 26, 2011

Filed under: Online Journalism — mellio10 @ 10:44 pm
Tags: , , ,

As a full-time college student with a demanding job, I find it is difficult to find the time every night to tune into the local evening news or read the daily paper.  One of my main sources for news is my phone.  I am lucky enough to have a smart phone and I depend on my multitude of news apps to keep me informed.  I have the Huffington Post app along with an app for the New York Times.  I identify with the more liberal media and I trust popular publications such as the Times and online news sources like the Huffington Post.

I do try and pick up the New York Times and USA Today on campus, since I feel that you absorb more information when reading the actual paper as opposed to just skimming their website for appealing headlines.  I think that there are great advantages over following papers as large as the New York Times and USA Today.  For one, they cover a large variety of topics, both globally and around the country, and it is a good way of knowing what is going on along the political front in America as well as with other countries.

As for local news, I try to pick up a copy of the Branding Iron whenever I am in the union.  I feel as though the Branding Iron offers a more a accurate news report, and is written better than the Laramie Boomerang, so that is my usual go to publication when it comes to finding out what is going on around the university or Laramie.

I find entertainment news media very informative.  I am a big fan of  The Colbert Report and The Daily Show.  They have a more liberal bias which I identify more with than conservative news media.  I feel as though both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report do a good job at finding flaws within media such as conservative FOX news and liberal CNN; and giving a simple over view of that days’ political news.  Entertainment news programs are very popular among college students who want to be entertained while they are being informed; it is a new way to feed America’s youth information.

I talk to my parents and grandparents a lot about the news.  I find that they are usually more informed than I am and it is an easy to learn something that I may have not known before.  I also debate with my family about politics.  I come from a very liberal family, but since I have been living in predominantly conservative Wyoming, my views on politics have changed and I enjoy voicing my opinion during their political debates.

I feel as though I have a decent news diet for a college student. I do wish that I would take the time to actually dig further into the headlines and try to come to an understanding on certain subjects that I may not be well versed at.  I find that it is important to try and stay up to date especially as I come closer to entering the professional workforce.