Tag Archives: multimedia

Goodbye Photojournalism, Hello Amateurism: The Downfall of Journalism Specialists

Original illustration

Original illustration

In a gust of controversy, the Chicago Sun-Times fired its team of photojournalists earlier this year. The justification? Reporters armed with iPhone cameras can do the job just as well.

Is this practice the new paradigm? An article by Lou Carlozo recently questioned if photojournalists are a “digital casualty.” A main point of the Chicago Sun-Times’ decision, Carlozo says, was to devote more dough to video production (that is, reporters hitting “record” on their iPhones).

As more publications move online, users demand interactivity. Brands amp up multimedia, brainstorming new ways for users to click and browse. Online newspapers become flashier and more involving, and “play” buttons abound. But will old-fashioned print journalism—and the photographs that accompany it—be left in the dust?

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“Months To Live”

Prison hospice

Comforting a Death in Prison” is a powerful NYT audio slideshow, stark in black-and-white, about fellow inmates who volunteer for hospice duty with dying prisoners. The text story, “Fellow Inmates Ease the Pain of Dying in Jail,” is good but is made so much richer by the slideshow. A good example of how multimedia can help us tell fuller, more meaningful stories.

MediaBistro applauds multimedia journalism

MediaBistro posted a tweet several hours ago that made me appreciate the fact that we as students are encouraged to explore multimedia in our studies. The tweet read: “A good template for the future journalist and content producer: 3 Multimedia Journalists to Watch” followed by a link to 10000Words.net. The article profiles three journalists’ use of multimedia and how they enhance the impact of their stories. All of these journalists are younger (probably under 40) and more tech-savvy than their more-experienced.

One reporter, McKenna Ewan, created a Web site called “Times of Recession” that focused on the recession’s affect on our society. This site incorporated his article, photos and video to create a visual and effective story about the hardships created by the economy.

Mathilde Piarde uses Twitter to exemplify “that young journalists are not the carefree, free-spirited wanderers that veteran journalists often think they are.” Her most notable multimedia projects include a site about women who choose in-home birth instead of going to a hospital and a multimedia profile about Palm Beach, Florida’s top 10 Hot Jobs.

Photojournalist Chris Tompkins is recognized for his exceptional photographic use in multimedia. One in particular was a video essay about Yosemite National Park.

This recognition of these multimedia journalists makes me grateful for our use of multimedia encouraged by our professors. I admit that, at first, I was resistant to starting a Twitter and a blog. I didn’t see the point, it seemed more of a distraction like Facebook. However, after sticking with it and using it to my educational advancement, following tweets of people/companies I find interesting, and immersing myself in my weekly blog, I see the importance of social media. I am also expected to add photos and video to articles I write for J91 (Magazine Writing), which I now realize enhances my understanding of the topic, making me a better journalist.

It is refreshing to see young reporters applauded for their use of multimedia. It gives me as a student a glimpse at what it takes to succeed among more experienced journalists.