Multimedia journalism done well

Despite the technology at hand and the stories available to pursue further with the help of that technology, it seems many websites and publications do not take advantage of their multimedia opportunity–though this is less of a problem now than a few years ago as more journalists are incorporating different media elements into every piece of work they do. It can be much too easy for a publication or broadcast to simply put the same material online as was printed or shown on TV, perhaps with a few additional photos. But multimedia done well has so much to offer audiences and the journalists producing it. Audiences receive more information–information that goes more in-depth, is more entertaining, is more interactive. Journalists can benefit because, as a result, they can build a stronger audience base. Creating a quality multimedia project may mean more work for the journalist, but it offers the journalist much in return, and at least to me, seems to be a more exciting way to pursue stories.

Scott W. Gray, a freelance multimedia journalist for the Fauna Corporation and blogger on Open Salon, encountered the problem of websites whose multimedia journalism was comprised of pieces that “usually felt like afterthoughts to text or video-only coverage” in 2009. However, after searching through the masses of the so-called multimedia websites, Gray found five multimedia sites to which he continually returns and which offer both examples of multimedia journalism done well as well as tips and inspiration for the multimedia journalist.

The Five:

1. Multimedia Muse — MediaStorm, which produced the documentary, “A Thousand More,” about Philly Mayer that we watched in lecture as an example of good multimedia journalism, was featured on the home page of Multimedia Muse today: “Truth In Fiction.”

2. Innovative Interactivity

3. duckrabbit

4. Multimedia Shooter

5. Interactive Narratives — MediaStorm has work featured on this site as well.

Of the five sites, I personally am drawn to duckrabbit and Multimedia Shooter. Both were very visually appealing to me initially–duckrabbit for its rather artistic look, Multimedia Shooter for its clean lines and simplicity, and both for the prominence of eye-catching images. I found the content on each appealing as well and think that I will likely return to these sites in the future to look at more multimedia journalism done well and to use some of the tips that they offer (Multimedia Shooter  has a lot to offer the aspiring multimedia journalist with, for instance, an entire section titled “Tools” that can be put to use by the multimedia journalist).

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