Sunday, February 5, 2012

Assignment #1 - Convergence & Multimedia Examples

Media Convergence

In the news around Los Angeles recently has been the disturbing story of elementary school teacher, Mark Berdnt, who was accused of feeding students his bodily fluids. Now, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that a female student of Berndt's was transferred to the classroom of Martin Springer, where she was touched inappropriately. The story wasn't just covered in print via the Times, it was also covered in broadcast by local station KTLA 5, making it an example of convergence of news content.

As we saw with the story of the chess team, this is an example of convergence of news content because it's the same story being covered across various media platforms. Our textbook, "Convergent Journalism," also defines storytelling convergence or convergence of news content as : "convergence coverage driven by the significance of the news event... convergence is about doing journalism and telling stories using the most appropriate media. The importance of the news event should dictate the depth and type of coverage." (pg 7) The news about the same female student being victimized by two elementary school teachers is clearly a significant news event that garnered the attention of both print and broadcast media.

Each content had its strengths and weaknesses, depending on the platform it was presented. The LA Times article was more in-depth, it presented the details of Berndt's previous accusations by parents and it also explored the possible connection between the two teachers, stating they might've been working together since the two took their classrooms on field trips together. On the other hand, the KTLA news segment was more like the spark notes version of the story, but since its broadcast, the segment had a reporter outside the elementary school interviewing mothers of students who were very admit about wanting to protest.

Not only are the news and broadcast story an example of convergence of news coverage, they're also an example of industry convergence since both the LA Times and KTLA are owned by the same company.

Multimedia Journalism

In lighter news, the CNN website recently posted an excellent example of multimedia journalism. As a cold snap is wreaking havoc and eastern and central Europe, Rome received its first snowfall since 1985. Along the CNN article reporting about how cold it is in Europe, the reporter included a slideshow, complete with captions, to not just tell everyone how cold it is, but to show the snow as well.

As with the multimedia journalism example in class of the General Motors slideshow with the news story, the CNN article also had a slideshow to accompany a short print story. One of the benefits of using multimedia journalism as a product of convergence is the ability to "expand the way we tell stories." (convergence PPT) In this example, the reporter's print article about the cold is a little flat but by including pictures, readers are able to get a good visual of the snow and be more inclined to click through the slideshow than reading the drab print article.

This article is also a great example of the benefits of using multimedia journalism online. By being posted on the CNN website, the reporter has the ability for interactivity with the readers. At the bottom of the article is a comment box where readers can leave comments using their CNN, Facebook or Twitter accounts. In the top right hand corner of the article are social media buttons, where readers can "recommend" this article on Facebook or Tweet about it, not only allowing for greater dissemination by CNN, but allowing for an added layer of interactivity with readers.

Posted By: Amelia Lerutte

1 comment:

  1. Nice in depth analysis of media convergence. The key element, though, is that the LA Times and KTLA are owned by the same company and share content.

    The CNN piece on European weather does exemplify an expanded technique for story telling--and it makes me very grateful to be in sunny Southern California!