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
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.
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.