With multimedia journalism broadening the opportunities for user generated content (e.g. uploading video), it could be argued that multimedia opportunites are be best utilised when accompanying topics that the user can actively engage with. While this does limit the areas that will benefit from multimedia reporting, these are increasing as Web 2.0 takes over.
People at the forefront of online journalism are acknowledging this. Mindy McAdams, who has written a book on the subject, refers to Jim Ray, a multimedia producer at MSNBC.com in her blog.
He says, “We are not out breaking Watergate, its not the right medium for that.
“What we can do is take a complex issue and make it personal to a user who comes to our site and help them understand it better. We can provide a context and a different way to experience that story.”
Looking at the Guardian website today, its top UK multimedia story is about wardens being employed to sort out fights between cyclists and pedestrians. Hardly breaking news, but it is something that many users will be able to engage with.
The red tops are in on it too. The Mirror’s top video news story today investigates the possibility of a fuel price difference ban. This is also focused on the public’s opinion where possible.
You may also be interested in having a look at what onlinejournalismblog’s students did when faced with a Flash journalism assignment, which involved engaging with a number of multimedia forms of reporting. Fascinatingly they almost all chose to represent ethical and environmental issues, rather than engage with traditionally newsworthy topics.
And all you micro blogging aficionados out there should know they were twittering as they did it…