By Rhonda Alexander
Any journalist who wants to be taken seriously today will confirm it. Adding multimedia to your work-especially on the Web-gives you a fighting chance to have your work recognized and respected.
As the chapter on Adding Multi Media to the Web explains, adding multiple layers of media (sound, video, photo) to a piece gives journalists more tools than ever to develop a story that was once traditionally only conveyed with words and a few pictures, if they were lucky.
The traditional staple of still images (photos captured from cameras) is giving way to photo galleries, which can include photographs from one person (such as a freelancer), one news organization or one subscription service (such as The Associated Press). This could also include a combination of all of the above.
Leaps and bounds in technology also means we now have access to video-oftentimes even streaming video-bringing a whole new dimension to a story that photography doesn’t. Adding video means that now, as a story is unfolding, if your news organization-or even a citizen journalist-is on the scene at the right time, on-the-spot editing could mean that part of the story is on the Internet within minutes of actually capturing it on video.
With the advancements in technology, sound is becoming more specialized in the ways it can be layered within a story to create more depth.
A journalist can choose to add sound bites to enhance a story or they can choose to add a podcast, which sounds more advanced than it really is. No matter how simple it may be, adding a podcast to a story could add a depth that makes it easier for readers to understand the message the journalist wants to convey.
Hearing the actual words as they have come out of a person’s mouth versus quotes in print adds a layer to a story that won’t soon be forgotten in what has been called, “the forgotten medium.”
Innovation is the name of the game as media continues to develop in an effort to engage the public. The one thing that stays constant is the need for accuracy and using the right tools to tell the best story in the most effective way.