Journalism for the Modern World

Last week’s readings discussed at length how the way information is transmitted has drastically changed because of advances in technology. Paul Grabowicz explains in “The Transition to Digital Journalism” that journalists have resorted to a “web-first” or “web-centric” approach to their reporting, also called “reverse publishing.” They think first and foremost about working to produce multimedia pieces and articles for the web and then worry about writing hard copies for newspapers or magazines later.

Grabowicz makes a note that videos can be particularly good for telling stories about food, places that serve food, political turmoil, and the damage of natural disasters, like we saw in The Denver Post’s “Chasing the Beast.”

However, there are so many different potential story topics and so many different ways to transmit information about a topic, that it can be difficult to decide which format will best play off the piece’s attributes. Sean Blanda writes in his post “We need to reinvent the article,” that each bit of information that comes across a journalist’s desk should be handled differently.

So then, my question for all of you is how do you think journalists should go about deciding which format to use in order to best portray the story: video, photos, a traditional written article, an interactive web like PBS’s “A Perfect Terrorist,” a game like Newsgrounds’ “You Shall Know the Truth,” a combination of several of these or something entirely different? Are there any guidelines at all or is the decision entirely based on individual circumstances?

Feel free to refer to the numerous multimedia examples that we looked at as part of this week’s readings in order to organize your response. Do you feel that the journalists who put together these pieces made the best decisions in their formatting? Or do you think any of them could have covered the stories better using a different tactic? Why or why not? What aspects of the stories complement the formats used? Or which aspects could have been portrayed better another way?

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2 Responses to Journalism for the Modern World

  1. jhanair says:

    I feel that it is much easier for me and other people to read an interactive article. Something like “A Perfect Terrorist” or “Snowfall” is easier to keep my attention and interest in the story.

  2. nicoledotzenrod says:

    For a breaking news story, it would be unreasonable to expect a reporter to be able to put together a video or info graphic – I think this is where an article or short tweets work best. When more information come and for longer, important stories, videos or a layout like Snowfall work really well. These take more time though, so these would come after the initial reports as more of a complete summary of the event, or a feature story in the form of a video. An example of a current event of where this could work well is covering the Ray Rice story with a video summary or a web such as PBS’ “A Perfect Terrorist,” because the story has so many key people. In my opinion, the article, tweets, and other posts on social media come first, followed by the more in-depth ways of storytelling.

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