Stephen A. Masker

Multimedia Storytelling

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2009 at 1:32 PM

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My assessment of multimedia storytelling is that this field is already, and will continue to be, extremely useful for journalists and active members of crowd sourcing. The successful implementation of sound, audio, video and still images into a single package, either complementing a written story or standing alone, will prove to be extremely beneficial to anyone looking to gain viewership or grow their audience at their perspective website.

As Knight Digital Media Center describes in one of their articles, “The key is using the media form – video, audio, photos, text, animation – that will present a segment of a story in the most compelling and informative way.”

The website goes on to describe the function of nonlinear story telling and how exactly multimedia storytelling is an essential complement.

Importantly, however, is the stress KDMC places on the awareness of redundancy. To offer a multimedia package with video, audio, sound, photo, graphics does not mean to repeat what is already written but to instead elaborate or highlight important characteristics of the story.

A useful website that demonstrates the use of multimedia storytelling and user activity can be found at 360degrees.org.

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Another useful website is the OJR website which has some great example of studies finding how and why multimedia storytelling is effective, and how to benefit from it.

According to the DISEL (Digital Story Effects Lab) Study, “the results found that the research shows that the choices made in presenting information will have significantly different impacts on the audience. No one presentation form is going to be the most effective by all measures that you have in your newsroom for determining successful design. What the research does seem to reveal is that the highly interactive content results in more time spent online with the material and a greater level of reported “enjoyment.”

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I do not believe that multimedia storytelling will harm journalists but instead I believe that it will greatly benefit them. A journalists’ job is to report the news, fair and unbalanced while minimizing harm. At the same time, they want to be accurate and quick – multimedia storytelling will only benefit journalists from this point onwards. Interactivity will keep the user at the website, and while not everyone has time to read a 300+ word story, those on the go will appreciate the ability to listen to audio and/or video that accompany the story.

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  1. Well done! You have definitely hit upon the nuance that journalists must embrace multimedia storytelling to tell stories in more unique ways. The 360degrees.org site is very interesting, particularly in terms of conceptualizing how important it is to think through the elements of your multimedia package before you complete it.

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