Sunday, February 5, 2012

Multimedia Journalism and Media Convergence

Multimedia Journalism

Entertainment-related stories often make for great opportunities for multimedia journalism. Television, movies and music engage our eyes, ears and imagination so there are a number of great opportunities to use different kinds of media to create an engaging story. Creating a multimedia piece for an entertainment story also works well because it fits the same role entertainment does. We turn to television, movies and music when we’re looking for stimulation and when we read a story that incorporates different forms of media, our minds are stimulated and engaged in the best way.

This story from the MSN Entertainment home page includes a list of the ten most successful midseason replacement shows. It’s more a fluff piece, but there’s not room for a lot of impactful stories on super bowl Sunday. The story is a written piece that comes with a slideshow of pictures from the ten shows. Using a slideshow with this story is probably the best option to take. Seeing pictures of the characters will do a lot to trigger memories for people who already like the shows, and perhaps sway people who have never seen the shows into trying them out.

While using a slideshow was better than just running a print story, I think the wisest decision for a story about television shows would’ve been to use video clips. Obviously, videos would’ve have captured the tone of the shows better and been a more effective way to engage readers. Copyright issues abound when it comes to using videos, though, so perhaps a slideshow is the best choice after all.  

Media Convergence

On a more serious note, a topic that has and will continue to dominate the media is the Republican primaries. As we inch closer to November, we’ll continue to be bombarded by Election ’12 stories. Sticking to print for these kinds of stories can quickly get boring and stale so when we tell these stories using a broad platform of methods, they become more effective.

Last week, Mitt Romney won the Nevada primary so of course, every news outlet in every platform had to report on it. ABC7 reported on it in their evening newscast which was probably the most engaging and effective way to do it. It’s short and sweet and tells us everything we need to know in a short amount of time.

The Republican primaries and candidates aren’t anything new at this point, so there’s only so much we can say every time someone wins. BBC also reported on this story, but they used a short video and a much longer written companion piece. The BBC’s piece was yet another example of multimedia journalism. Using the video would’ve sufficed, but including the print portion was a good choice for people who maybe wanted a more in-depth analysis of the primary, a history of the candidates and anything else related to the upcoming election.  I found the print piece to be a little dry and too long so I definitely preferred ABC7’s report.

Media convergence is essential in this day and age, though, because it ensures that everyone has a chance to hear the story. The upcoming election is hugely important so everyone wants to be informed. Media convergence makes it possible for everyone to stay up to date, no matter which method they prefer.

1 comment:

  1. The "Happy Days"photo definitely brings back memories from my childhood! And you've written an interesting analysis of how MSN incorporated various media platforms to tell the story.

    You also raise some good points about GOP primary coverage. However, it is not clear to me how your example represents media convergence (unless ABC7 and the BBC were working together?). Perhaps you can clarify...