The Power of Multimedia Storytelling

Image

For Tuesday’s class, read the “Drilling Down” boxes in the Briggs book on pages 148 and 164, as well as the “Newsroom Innovator” profile of MSNBC.com’s Stokes Young on pages 168-169. Then watch this four-minute audio slideshow by The Washington Post, “No Greater Love.” (You may need to update your computer’s Flash plugin.) Also, if you are intrigued to learn more about this story after watching the slideshow, read photographer Carol Guzy’s accompanying epilogue about her experience reporting this story over several years.

Stokes Young says the promise of multimedia storytelling is to provide what he calls an “immersive experience: bringing the story to viewers through multiple senses and, hopefully, bringing viewers into stories — the experiences of other folks — in ways that increase understanding.”

By 11:59 p.m. Monday, leave a comment on this post (worth 5 class participation points) answering one of these questions:

  • Did “No Greater Love” deliver an “immersive experience” and, if so, how?
  • Would this story have been more or less powerful if told through video rather than through sound and still images?
  • Would this story have been more or less powerful if it used voiceover from the journalist, rather than relying entirely on sources for narration?

17 thoughts on “The Power of Multimedia Storytelling

  1. Would this story have been more or less powerful if told through video rather than through sound and still images?

    -I think it would have been less powerful. It gives the reader an opportunity to zero in and listen and focus. It also gives the reader a chance to sit back and think “wow.” I think it would be different had the pictures not been as incredible as they were, they tell the story.

    This was such a moving slideshow.

  2. Would this story have been more or less powerful if it used voiceover from the journalist, rather than relying entirely on sources for narration?

    A voiceover from the journalist would have disrupted the narration entirely. Her voice would have been that of an outsiders – it didn’t belong in the story. It would have likely been a jarring switch between Classie and Carol Guzy. Yes, Classie was hard to understand at times, but using her voice and the voice of caregivers completed the story. Carol asked the right questions so she didn’t have to use her own voice.

  3. Did “No Greater Love” deliver an “immersive experience” and, if so, how?

    By matching the progression of the pictures and vocals with the progression of the story, I believe “No Greater Love” was an incredibly immersive experience. The mix of interview, pictures of Classie, Rozzie, and their environment, as well as the funeral song and speech created an all inclusive package for readers to observe. The range of media and subjects that Carol Guzy used made this successful and draws the reader in. They have no option but to pay attention.

  4. Did “No Greater Love” deliver an “immersive experience” and, if so, how?

    This was one of the greatest multimedia stories I have ever seen. Multimedia stories are important because it allows people to tell a story the way they want it told. In the case of Classie and Rozzie, this story was a heart warmer to me because my grandfather just passed and my grandmother was exactly what Classie was to her sister; caretaker. This news story delivered great audio and pictures to tell this story and it was amazing. My mom and I sing that song (at the end) all the time. Pictures say a lot of words, sometimes you can have pictures without an interview and still relay your message. I loved this example of multimedia storytelling.

  5. “Would this story have been more or less powerful if told through video rather than through sound and still images?”

    I can only say this was an amazing piece of story telling. It was heart wrenching, it was tightly edited, and it was something you won’t forget soon. It was truly, truly something near perfect. Video wouldn’t have enhanced the piece I feel. In my opinion, photos are far crisper and more than beautiful than any video, and the idea behind pairing the voices to the photos was fantastic. Video wouldn’t have had the same effect simply due to the lack of beauty. Photos trump video any time.

  6. Would this story have been more or less powerful if told through video rather than through sound and still images?

    The slideshow’s audio is the most powerful part of the story, and having photos helps the viewer really identify the love, pain, and dedication in Classe’s voice. However, I am probably biased since I work a lot with video, but I think it could have helped the story come more to life. I would do a combination of both photos and video. I’m actually kind of torn, because Dacota makes a good point, there is something powerful to a beautiful photo that captures emotion in one single frame…. so in conclusion, a story like this that is so well done with photographs and audio perhaps should be left alone, but overall I think video is the most engaging platform that should be taken advantage of if possible.

  7. I thought the Post did a fantastic job with ‘No Greater Love’ as a piece. I really enjoyed how it was told through pictures and SOTs. I think they could have added video and combined it with pictures, but I feel like the pictures themselves served the story justice. They almost forced the audience to focus on the detail of that one moment instead of allowing them to move on to the next thing like they would have with a video. I also really liked how they used SOTs instead of reporter VO. I think that letting your subject tell and narrate a story is more powerful than telling your audience what you saw. A reporter could have never conveyed the emotion and strength of the sisters’ relationship like Classie did. Overall it was a fantastic piece.

  8. This story would have been less powerful if it used voiceover from the journalist. The story was so moving and compelling that hearing the emotion in the sources’ voices bring much more to the story than a voiceover would. With such a heart wrenching story I think this was necessary. As Stokes Young said the promise of multimedia storytelling is to provide an “immersive experience: bringing the story to viewers through multiple senses…” Young also said we need to make sure we’re adding more to the story. By having the sources narrate paired with the images, the story was told in a much more captivating and interesting way. It was a sad story and you needed to hear the true emotion of what was going on.

  9. A voiceover from a professional journalist would have taken away from this compelling slideshow rather than added to it. Hearing such beautiful sentiments from Rozzie’s loved ones made the slideshow very powerful and unforgettable. The Post achieved a killer combination of excellent photography and authentic audio in this piece. Roger McLeish said it best, “A great advantage of the aural medium over print lies in the sound of the human voice – the warmth, the compassion, the anger, the pain and the laughter. A voice is capable of conveying much more than reported speech.”

  10. Would this story have been more or less powerful if told through video rather than through sound and still images?

    I believe it would definitely be less powerful if told entirely through video. As Young mentions, with a photography/audio/NAT sound multimedia package, the viewer can “actually see and hear the broad sweep, compelling details,and central characters of the story.” Instead of forcing the viewer to see what is being recorded, the photographs instead give the viewer a choice to explore what interests them about the photo/story. Carol Guzy did a wonderful job matching the photographs to the audio and nat sound (and as read in Brigg’s, this is essential to keep the attention of the viewer). Additionally, the photographs are so powerful because they aren’t just “pictures,” they are thoughtful, symbolic, and powerful. These features are what brought the story to life, more than a video could have. However, I do believe a mix between video and photography could have made it even more powerful. It would have heightened the personal experience even more. If it had both video and photography it would have to be something like: 80% photography, 20% video.

  11. Would this story have been more or less powerful if it used voiceover from the journalist, rather than relying entirely on sources for narration?

    Voiceover from the journalist would have made the narration less powerful. As a journalist, it is your job to let the story tell itself. If you don’t need to incorporate your voice in the story, don’t do it; and that is exactly what Carol Guzy did. I think photography and sound bytes were in perfect harmony in this story–I don’t think it could have been told any better. It was clear that Guzy spent long periods of time with Classy and Rozzie. She got to know them both so well that she could illustrate their story through photos. Adding her voice to the story was not even necessary.

  12. I absolutely loved the way this story was told! The photos and the interviews were very powerful, and I think they did make the story immersive. Video was not necessary for this story because the images were so powerful when paired with the voices of Classie and Rozzie. “No Greater Love” was such a beautiful example of a multimedia story and I became very attached to the story very quickly!

  13. I believe that a journalist’s voice – or even anyone’s voice who didn’t pertain to the story – has no place in this slideshow. It is so powerful as is and the multimedia journalist’s job in this situation is to gather information that will speak for itself, not to tell the story with their own voice. The photos at the same time as voiceover allows us to put a face to the voice, and it really draws the viewer in. This story is most definitely immersive.

  14. My MacBook doesn’t do sound very well and Flash doesn’t work with iOS. If I had realized it was Flash I would have watched it in the J-School. I promise to watch it in the morning before class. Can I still get my participation points? (And why did they use Flash?)

  15. No Greater Love was an incredibly immersive video. It appealed to all of the senses. We were able to see the story unfold. It was a beautiful story of how a woman takes care of her younger sister who has Alzheimer’s. The viewer is also present for the death of the younger sister and hears the cries of the older sister. Personally, I was emotionally invested because I felt like I was there. Because this video did such an amazing job of having the readers fully immersed in the storyline, they were emotionally invested.

  16. I think No Greater Love definitely delivered an immersive experience. The way they formatted it was perfect because even though the story was relatable to many people who have been in situations like this, it was a story of it’s own in the fact it was told from their own perspective. It really tugs on your heart strings because even though we may not have had to deal with a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimers we have all dealed with the death of a loved one so it is easily relatable. The reader is immersed from the start into the storyline and kept pulled in throughout the entire thing because of this relation, and I think any kind of voice over would simply take away from that immersion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s