What is Multimedia Journalism?

A simple definition of multimedia journalism: “the integration of text, images, sound, video, and graphics to tell a journalistic story.”

Last year, The New York Times created numerous ways to navigate a story called In First Lady’s Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery. It included a standard newspaper article, an archive of original documents, an interactive family tree with photographs, graphics, and an audio slide show, a 7-minute radio piece, and a series of blog posts related to the topic.

However, even as they practice multimedia journalism, professionals in the industry are still trying to understand and articulate the characteristics of the format.

To learn more:

1. Visit http://www.multimediastandards.org/ – a project created by students at the University of Miami.

2. Read the Summary page.

3. Visit The Grid. Pick three industry leaders. Look at her/his bio. And listen to three audio clips from each one:

  • Definition of Multimedia
  • Essentials of Good Multimedia
  • How is storytelling different in multimedia than traditional media?

4. Pick at least two features listed on 9 Multimedia Projects You Must Experience. If there is a way to leave a comment, contribute, or respond, do so.

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21 Responses to What is Multimedia Journalism?

  1. I checked out the Interactive Panorama Experience. It was a bunch of pictures taken at interesting and impossible places to go; such as the inside of a shoe or a water bottle. Unfortunately when I clicked on the pictures Safari gave me a big error, but the site still showed some interesting points of views through pictures.

  2. Zack Brown says:

    I visited the Highrise website and watched the William and the Windmill video. The Highrise website was especially intriguing, yet I still have a hard time understanding what it is they do, even after 15 minutes on the page.

  3. Ellis says:

    Of the nine I liked the three minute documentary titled Wait For Me. It was simplistic, but heartfelt and they incorporated old footage to tell the complete story. The other was Post Secret it was darkly humorous but yet it was serious in the topics of life, death, and religious beliefs of the afterlife.

  4. I thought Highrise matched some incredible visuals with good, solid information. Very creative. I also enjoyed Post Secret, more for it’s entertainment value than anything else but I’ve always thought it was an interesting project.

  5. Alli Mechanic says:

    During class I watched “Wait For Me” and “Post Secret”

    I enjoyed both of these multimedia clips. “Wait For Me” was very hard to watch and emotional while “Post Secret” was more entertaining and could appeal to more people due to the light-heartedness and honesty of it.

    Both videos allowed the story to have more of a human element since you were able to see people’s reactions to the story

  6. Sam says:

    William and the Windmill uses video, pictures, and text to tell the story of a man who uses junkyard scraps to build windmills in Malawi. As William tells his story, text appears in the video which made it easier for me to understand with the sound at a lower level.

  7. Chris Segarra says:

    I took a look at the first project Highrise and I really just thought it looked cool. That’s as far as my opinions go on that one. The second project I experienced was the ninth one, PostSecret. The raw, honest and personal confessions from the people featured in the film drew me in. Some of them are funny, while others catch you off guard and seem to do everything in their power to rip out a tear. As a side note I especially liked the opening where the camera pans down past the gate and goes into the next scene. Instead of just placing the subjects in the middle of the frame, they mix it up and move them around a bit. Overall, PostSecret had a reasonable effect on me and deserves the attention it received.

  8. Fausto says:

    I looked at the adult care site, particularly the story concerning Michael Avila, and the Postsecret video. The videos, especially in the case of Avila, gave you a much better view on the subject than text alone.

  9. strummerdood says:

    I looked through Highrise and watched PostSecret. Highrise was definitely interesting. The way in which the issues and information were presented gave them new depth. I had a little trouble figuring out the point of the project but it was still entertaining and enlightening. The whole concept of PostSecret and the execution of it really drew me in. I didn’t want it to end; I could’ve kept watching it for much longer.

  10. Lindsey Hand says:

    I watched the Post Secret and William and the Windmill. I left a comment on Post Secret’s video expressing my opinion on it.

    I really enjoyed both videos. William’s story is truly inspirational and he really is making a difference in his village. I just couldn’t believe he made the windmill by himself. I also found it ironic that he accomplished this after he had to drop out of school….usually we hear of people accomplishing things after graduating school, making this story even better!

    I loved the Post Secret video. My comment on the page really explains how I feel. I found actually watching people expressing their secrets made much more of an impact because they aren’t able to hide behind their computer screen and submit their secrets anonymously; anyone can do that! I loved the setting, the colors, the calming music, and the people they chose for the video. I would love to see more of these!

  11. Chris Bengel says:

    The first project I looked at was Highrise. The setup was really interesting. You can learn facts about the organization by clicking each story. The second project I looked at was William and the Windmill. Pictures were used to help tell the story. It also contained audio and video within the story. It made it much easier to visualize what William was talking about.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I watched Alabama’s Homeboys.
    What I found to be really effective was the use of ambient sound on the website. Even when viewing text, like parts of the site explaining something or providing links, it was playing. It was just kids talking and playing around, but it added something to the site. There were also photos with sad music and interactive captions, and a very good video– and really, it was a great video. But the ambient sound stuck out to me the most as I explored the rest of the site.

    I also watched “Wait for Me”. This was extremely well-produced, down to the quality of the film to the interjections of B-roll, the slow motion increasing the impact it had on me as a viewer. What struck me most was the interview. The hope in the woman’s eyes as she addressed the camera about waiting for her son. The way I would have felt if I were the one waiting for someone who hadn’t been home since he was 24. The shot of his photo in her curled hand is just so powerful.

  13. Dominic says:

    I visited “Journey to Zero” and watched the PostSecret video. The Journey to Zero was very visually pleasing, and used some great techniques, like their integration of YouTube videos into their site, which made it more streamlined, as opposed to putting a clunky YouTube video player on the site.

    The PostSecret video did a great job of using stunning visuals and music to draw you in, and really care about the people in the video.

  14. Kristen Conner says:

    … The above post was me. Haha.

  15. Cassie says:

    I focused on the Alabama’s Homeboys project, and found that is presentation was really intriguing. It featured a video, an essay, photo gallery and “about” page. I focused mainly on the video slides, which showed pictures and had an explanation for what was going on in each. I felt that the pictures brought out strong emotion and compassion for the children in Alabama Village. I liked reading along with the slideshow and enjoyed the overall format of the project.

  16. hartne19 says:

    I looked at Alabama’s Home Boys and Bangladesh is Drowning. The first included a nicely edited video to hold my interest and then included essays at the end so I could keep reading after the video was finished. This style of multimedia tells the story on multiple levels and creates a much more in-depth story into a special subject.

    The second piece contained a series of video clips which were mixed with motion video and still images with audio narration and sound effects to generate a better sense of the reality in each picture. The use of the still images with audio creates a better feel to the piece than what would normally be printed in a newspaper. These examples of multimedia show how the industry will likely change to provide for a more specialized audience that is only interested in certain subjects.

  17. Dan C says:

    I watched the 3 minute documentary on “Wait For Me” and thought that the documentary was good but didn’t understand the website.

  18. I watched Wait for Me which was really heartfelt. It combined the interview with the woman and the old pictures to bring the story together. I also watched PostSecret which was funny in some parts and more serious at other times where people actually talked about serious things. I liked how they did the different shots of the people sometimes it was the side view of the person or their shoes.

  19. I explored the, “Nissan Journey to Zero” site, which I’m not really sure how to describe it because it was so cool, but MultimediaShooter described it as having a “beautiful design and elegant interface.” It felt like, instead of clicking through a set layout, you were floating above it in that there wasn’t a set list of sections of the site, so it was hard to tell where you’d end up. I also looked at the PostSecret video, which was really cool in that they interviewed so many people, but I wish I saw a greater variety in age groups represented. The beauty of PostSecret is that people can relate to the posted secrets, and even more so when you can see the identity of the person whose secret it is.

  20. Diana Petrone says:

    I looked at Journey to Zero and PostSecret. I think the home page of the site is really cool. I like how you can click and drag to different spots of the site. The whole idea of involving the audience caught my attention. I really enjoyed PostSecret. I like how it was just real people being honest. Some of the responses made me laugh.

  21. georgiegirl7 says:

    The wait for me video was sad, especially in the beginning when she couldnt even read the letter from him, but i enjoyed. I thought the use of the pictures from when he was a little boy and the scenery pictures made it kind of cool.
    I really liked the postsecret:confessions on life, death and God video. I thought it was cool how some of the secrets people let out were really funny while others were sad and some very touching. i also liked how all different races ages and genders were interviewed.

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