Illustrate with Words

Christy's Random Rants

5 Steps to Multimedia Storytelling March 19, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Cnwedoe @ 6:06 pm

I took the 5 Steps to Multimedia Storytelling course from the Poynter’s News University site. The course was informative, interesting and a refresher on using a good reporting process.

I chose this course because since taking this class we have learned that online media writing is similar to print media but does have some differences that really set it apart.

The five steps it follows are choosing a story, making a story board, reporting with multimedia,editing for the web and producing the story. The process is similar to print media’s process of creating a story but there are several things you have to consider.

Some things that stood out to me was the process of making a story board and editing for the web. In Media Writing we talked briefly about what goes into making a storyboard but I never knew how intricate it is to create one for multimedia.

You have to consider three important parts when creating your storyboard:

  • Define the Elements- Divide your story into nonlinear parts and consider every detail of your story. Create a paragraph explaining the focus of your story, a “nut graf.” Create profiles of main characters, define the main event, look at pros and cons, examine the background of the situation and look at the process of how something works.
  • Identify the Media- Look at your 6 key options: video, photography, audio,  maps, animated graphs and text. Choose more than 2 of those options to use when telling your story.
  • Storyboard the Concept- On a scratch piece of paper sketch out the main story page and elements it will include. Also consider what multimedia element you will want to include on the main page as the establishing visuals.

When editing your story for the web you have to consider the little  things for the media outlets you used. For example make sure your videos are 1 to 2 minutes in length, no longer or when using audio use subtitles to reinforce important ideas or messages.

The most interesting statement was the suggestion that a writer should save their text for last. Focus on other outlets because the text should only provide information they weren’t able to put in audio, photos, videos, maps or graphics.

Two articles I found that followed these steps well were The Dragon Children and Being a Black Man. I choose these two from the examples and resources page at the end of the course.

After reading both these articles I could tell they saved the text for last. They have more important information in their videos, animated graphics and audio. Since both stories have so much information it was smart to use multiple media outlets.

Looking at a computer screen for long periods of time from reading text can strain your eyes and can sometimes create a headache. Both sites were smart and created short videos, audio and used photos to create a mood to the story. The stories seem well-organized and structured too simply looking at the layouts. I liked how the stories were nonlinear because it let me as a reader control how I read the story.


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