chapter  14
15 Pages

Multimedia Journalism

ByMindy McAdams

In the context of journalism, the word multimedia means different things to different people. Some journalists have declared the word to be past its usefulness, and yet it persists in both job advertisements and in the navigation links of major news websites, such as The New York Times . When different media typessuch as video, text, and animated graphics-are integrated to tell a story, journalists call that a multimedia package or a multimedia feature. Some multimedia stories invite interaction with the user (who might also be called the viewer, or the reader), and others offer a mostly passive experience. Many multimedia packages provide options for navigating the story. Often they are nonlinear, unlike a print or broadcast piece. Any two users might take two entirely different pathways through the story, which raises questions about what information and context users will come away with. Yet events and situations in real life are viewed differently by the different people involved in them, and multimedia storytelling offers journalists an opportunity to show various facets of a story in parallel, rather than starting with one view and then stepping through others sequentially.