Five Steps to Multimedia Storytelling

source: NewsU, online courses

Working my way through this self-directed online course lead me to discover five basic ways to tell a story using multimedia techniques.

  1. Decide on the story you want to tell and collect all the preliminary data.
  2. Make a storyboard. A storyboard is an outline of the elements of the story and the medium through which you will tell it.
  3. Make sure you have all the basic journalism needs when you are on the field from having:
  •  common-sense item such as:
  •  a water bottle to refresh yourself to
  • less common items such as:
  •    duct tape  
  •    rubber bands 
  •    plastic bags for life’s unexpected emergencies.

Make a checklist for all of your technical items so you don’t leave home without them, such as:

  • video camera
  • extra batteries
  • laptop
  • cables
  • tripod
  • microphones
  • manuals
  • headphones
  • lens & filters
  • DV tapes

4.  Choose your multimedia medium:

  • Videos

             – keep them short–only 1 to 4 minutes max.

  • Audio

            – use only the highest quality.   Avoid background music unless pertinent to the story.

  • Still photos

           – use them to replace 1,000 words–not as an accessory to words.

  • Graphics

          – can be the centerpiece of the story supplemented by text blocks.

  • Text

          – save text for what is left after you put in as much information as possible with other media.

  • Production

           – after completing a few multimedia stories, consider creating story templates. Templates allow you to put your efforts  into                                reporting rather than building each story again from scratch.

The course provided the basic information for the beginning multimedia techie. I am not a photojournalist and do not desire to be, so what I would like to see more of is an in-depth look at the various medium choices, such as videos, photos, graphics, and audio, where to find those that can be legally copied if you are doing an online presentation from online sources, and how to insert them into your piece.

Overall, the information provided a springboard of information.

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