By: Gabriella Gonzalez
Journalism is a changing world because of the fairly new popular concept of multimedia journalism.
According to Western Preserve Public Media’s website, “Multimedia journalists gather information, write stories, make broadcasts and use social media to keep the public informed about current affairs and events that are happening in the world.”
So what is the difference between journalism and multimedia journalism?
“The term ‘media’ blends (and blurs) concepts of culture and technology. When uses as a synonym for journalism, the term ‘media’ pushes technology into the foreground and conceals the fact that ‘journalism’ is one thing and ‘media’ is another,” said G. Stuart Adam of Poynter.org.
Multimedia journalism blends news with different mediums such as “video, photos, graphics, social media, reporting, writing, and ethics” said Jennifer Napier-Pearce, host of The Salt Lake Tribune’s daily web show Trib Talk.
Napier-Pearce said that the most important elements in multimedia journalism are reporting, writing, and ethics. Those three things are what journalism is all about, and journalism is the element that cannot be forgotten.
Multimedia journalism is just a different way of presenting or telling a story, Napier-Pearce said.
Napier-Pearce describes what she thinks drives this multimedia journalism as digital.
“Digital equals possibilities. Because of the digital environment we have grown up in, we have expectations,” she said.
The audience who is receiving the news has growing expectations because of all the new possibilities the digital world provides in the multimedia journalism world.
Because of these new possibilities with digital mediums, if makes journalism very competitive.
“Everybody is fighting for your eyeballs and your money,” said Napier-Pearce.
Sherwin Coelho, from The Guardian, shared his experience about being a multimedia journalism student.
“If I had to do my course (MA multimedia journalism) all over again I would have made sure I learnt shorthand, HTML, InDesign, DreamWeaver, creating infographics and data journalism — or at least the basics of each,” Coelho said.
Napier-Pearce said she learns new things all the time. Multimedia mediums are an ongoing change. There are a few factors that have changed about multimedia journalism. Napier-Pearce said she has noticed that this type of journalism is changing by the length of the stories, videos, and deadlines. People are expecting news faster, which means shorter deadline to produce news. People don’t want to read a 30-inch long story anymore. The same goes for videos — people are looking for short videos that get them the most important information the fastest.
The Salt Lake Tribune has been experimenting with this for a while, Napier-Pearce said. The Tribune is looking for ways to make Trib Talk shorter.
Overall, Pearce’s biggest challenge of the new multimedia journalism is trying to hold people’s attention.
“You can increase your audience’s attention by making your stories and videos shorter,” Napier-Pearce said,. “You can also break it up with video, pictures and chunky texts.”
Napier-Pearce described multimedia journalism as being “digital in nature” and “digital equals possibilities” so don’t be hesitant to learn new skills. You’ll need them because the digital world is in constant change, and “people have to be will to learn a new skill.”