Multimedia Journalism

Perhaps more than ever before, the field of journalism is in transition. Newspaper readership is shrinking. Television audiences are becoming more fragmented. And the Internet has grown into a veritable sea of information.

Once, trustworthy sources of information were scarce. Journalists served an important role in society by helping mass audiences make sense of the world around them. Now, information is always one click away, and news audiences have become active participants in the open exchange of ideas.

In some ways, the future of journalism has never seemed more uncertain. Yet, for some
of the most innovative and brave, it has never been a more exciting time to be a journalist.

Indeed, massive changes in technology and audience reading and viewing trends have led to a great shift in how news is consumed. However, these changes have also brought about great possibilities for storytelling, never before possible. Interactive platforms provide new ways to present content. Digital technology allows us to combine different story forms to create rich media experiences. And journalists are challenged to find ways to engage audiences in new ways. Through all of this emerges the multimedia journalist.

The chapters that comprise this first unit help provide definition for both the role of multimedia in today’s evolving landscape, as well as what makes for a good multimedia story. In this sense, Unit One lays the groundwork for broadening a definition of journalistic storytelling that takes into account many big picture concepts, including telling stories for multiple platforms, the importance of healthy, efficient collaboration, and solid story planning. Likewise, we explore navigational structures for complex multimedia stories, how to assess multimedia potential, and how to build storyboards. In essence, this unit lays the groundwork for developing a great multimedia story.