The Upsides of Multimedia Storytelling

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As Brian Carroll discusses in Writing for Digital Media, there is a lot online editors must take into consideration when telling a story, and much of it digresses significantly from those things required of other mediums such as printed and televised news.

I’m currently taking Broadcast Communications, and it wasn’t really until taking this class that I realized just how rigid the format of a news broadcast actually had to be. There seems to be little room for creativity, and, as Carroll discusses, multimedia possess far more options when it comes to delivering a story.

Carroll uses a story package on the “sub-prime mortgage crisis of 2008-9 and its effects on mortgage lending rates” (128). As Carroll states, “Television news might interview a banker and a heart-broken homeowner (or former homeowner), then perhaps show a visual of an empty subdivision” (128). This is the sort of format we use in creating packages in Broadcast Communications, and, in my opinion, it’s just sort of uninspiring. I guess the point of news isn’t exactly to entertain, but at the same time there are ways multimedia is able to make news both more informative and impacting. In regards to the package mentioned above, Carroll says an online editor could do any number of the following that editors in print and television cannot:

– Provide a short list of the problems in the mortgage markets illustrated with a large photo of someone at a foreclosure auction.

– Offer a short video and/or audio clips of the voices of the housing market, presenting people telling their stories of foreclosure or being stuck in a slow market. The same person in the foreclosure photo could be featured in one of the videos. In fact, the photo could link to the video.

– Create interactive maps that show where problems are the worst in a particular state or the nation.

– Provide a “rate your mortgage savvy” interactive quiz or test to illustrate to readers problems they might run into securing a home loan.

– Link to resources, such as banks and the U.S. Federal Reserve.

– Provide a narrative tying all of these elements together.

(128)

These would not only contribute to a much more informative story than that told in a standard news package but also a much more interesting story.

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