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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Multimedia Mindset

So what is multimedia journalism and why is multimedia journalism different from traditional journalism?
Visuals conquer the audience online, we all know that but the marriage of text, audio, still photography and video should equal to exceptional (quality) storytelling. A story can be told different ways and in different mediums. Not all stories fit the multimedia format, therefore selecting the story that fits this platform is a challenge (not all stories have visuals, storyline, compelling sound bites and nat sound). The best multimedia pieces tell a story in a matter of minutes, they are compelling and engage the audience. Multimedia journalism means for me to strive for the best in the visual and textual presentation of the story (quality in writing, audio, photo and video). I agree, this is sometimes hard to achieve because of deadlines and resources. My advice is to reserve your time and energy for THE BEST multimedia stories.
Demorris Lee reporter at the St. Petersburg Times says that "a multimedia journalist is constantly thinking about multiple platforms." He also says that multimedia journalism is a mindset. I so agree with him. I have ALL my equipment with me when I work on stories. I am using an H2 Zoom audio recorder, a shotgun and a regular microphone, tons of rechargeable batteries, a second audio recorder (just in case), my Nikon D300 camera and an old tape based video camera I can digitize on my laptop (you might want to buy the new Flip UltraHD video camera). I am on a budget so I have the most affordable gear that gives me the best quality.
I also constantly think about the visuals!
Take away points that may resonate with you:
- be always ready
- be at the right place at the right time and with the right gear!!!!
- use the skills you have and build on it- use it or loose it
- search for story ideas and YES, do research!!!
- share your knowledge and be ready to learn from critiques
- learn from the BEST. This means that you should pay for workshops and classes and stay on top of the latest technology. Mediastorm has excellent slice-of-life multimedia stories.
- collaborate, collaborate and collaborate- you can't do everything alone. Your peer might see things differently and thus you can produce richer content!
- trust your colleague- even though I am used to work on my stories alone, I can't do everything alone (I can't record an emotional message and shoot a closeup of an emotional subject at the same time. GRAB THE MOMENT- seconds later, the emotions might disappear)
- understand the workflow, consult with your editor BEFORE you leave
- consider deadline, budget, available technology and equipment
- sound is king
- just get out and DO IT
- tell everyday stories in different ways
- please do SHORT stories

Demorris talked about "multimedia journalism" at the Knight Digital Media Center workshops on May 17, 2010.

Demorris Lee: Multimedia Journalism: It's a Mindset from kdmcinfo on Vimeo.

The explore the entire Knight Digital Media Archive.

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