Multimedia a must for journalists

Video. Audio. Slideshows. Interactive Graphics. Photos. Text. Social Media…MULTIMEDIA.

The concept of multimedia journalism is not new. It has been five years since the New York Times published its landmark multimedia project, Snowfall, yet multimedia existed before the project launched it into the mainstream public’s eye.

There’s no question that multimedia content can tell stories in ways that traditional print cannot. So if this is the case, why have myself and my students been so slow to embrace it?

The answer is simple… fear.

While I have an B.S. in journalism from a reputable university, multimedia platforms and techniques were not covered in the courses. Since then I have been working in positions where I am a singleton and generally have little funding, or time, for training in these areas.

The honest truth is that I feel inadequate to teach my students about these exciting ways to disseminate information, and so while I might show them a tool like Thinglink  or Storify, and encourage them to try those out, I don’t push them to experiment as hard as I should.  

I am insecure, but also nervous and excited for “Teaching Multimedia.” I am scared I will make a fool of myself trying to record and edit video, or creating interactive items. However, I am willing to take the risk, as I feel if I do not embrace the technology and teach my staff members to do the same, then I will not be preparing them for the real world that is journalism today.

Print may not be dead, but it is only one small portion of the journalist’s toolbox.

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