Using increasingly complex technology to create stories is becoming a popular trend in journalism. Creating multimedia stories is one of these technologies, and it is creating some interesting things.
Multimedia stories are particularly engaging, as they use different media forms to engage their audiences. Using text in conjunction with video, photos and other interactive features, such as maps, makes it a very effective way to connect with an audience. An excellent example of this is Snowfall, by John Branch. The story is predominantly text-based, however embedded within it are photos, video interviews with survivors, and highly responsive maps. My favourite part of this story was the maps– as you scroll down the story, the map follows you down the screen and illustrates where certain people were in the lead-up to the avalanche. This was really engaging, as it helps readers visualise the situation and people involved in the disaster.
The story is also well broken up with other maps, pictures and videos. This makes it much easier to read, as readers’ eyes get a break from big blocks of text every so often. The inclusion of pictures and names of those involved also assists in reading the story– while a small detail, it helps to visualise the people involved, as well as adding something to the writing.
Another good multimedia story is the New York Times’ story on Olympic gymnast Simone Biles. It combines a series of videos, text and photos to profile Biles and outline her gymnastic successes. I found this story to be effective as it also maps out her signature move in slow-motion, with lines tracing her route. This really caught my eye, as it shows her impressive athleticism. There is not a lot of text, which makes it really easy to follow and simple to look at.
Multimedia journalism is a very effective way to tell a story, and a lot of the multimedia stories that I have read so far are well presented, and enhanced by the multimedia elements. Overall, multimedia stories are particularly effective as they are able to engage viewers on multiple levels, and the varied media used helps to create a more three-dimensional story.