Moving to Multimedia
Journalism isn’t dying, it’s changing. It’s moving to multimedia. And you need to be on board or else get left behind. Here are some major points from Ch. 1.
- First, let’s define multimedia. In journalism and communication, it refers to multiple storytelling and information dissemination methods.
- The web and applications are common places to find multimedia journalism and communication because we can bring together all media types (i.e., visual, audio, text, graphic).
- The accessibility of news makes multimedia popular, and the growth of multimedia is, in part, spurred by younger generations.
- You still need to specialize in an area: writing, photography, PR, design, videography, audio, etc., but you need to have basic knowledge about the other fields as well.
- You should be able to understand and think critically about how stories are best told over multiple platforms. You’ll experience this point by completing our Blog Post #2.
The tools and programs you use will change throughout your career. The most important take-away points from this class should be:
(1) excitement, confidence, and willingness to look ahead to where technology and storytelling will be in the future,
(2) to learn new multimedia skills throughout your career,
(3) to maintain a strong sense of storytelling principles, no matter what media you use in your career, and
(4) to critically think about and evaluate storytelling, as a reader of media stories and producer of media stories.
Words of Wisdom From a Former COJO 3530 and COJO 4530 Student
I like to reach out to recent COJO graduates and see where they have landed in the “real world.” I use Facebook to keep in touch with former students. So, once you’re done being my student, then “friend me” on Facebook!
Back to the point, I reached out to Andie Knous, who graduated in Spring 2012 with a journalism degree. Now, she works for a human resources consulting firm as the representative to Gannett, a major media corporation.
I asked her to provide feedback and suggestions to both me and you (as a student). Here is her response:
“I would really urge students to grasp and embrace new media. I remember leaning towards print media just because of the nostalgia associated with holding a printed newspaper. But especially after working with Gannett, I have seen a small papers across the country get shut down because print is just not in demand.
Also, when I was looking for jobs, I can’t tell you how many ‘preferred skills’ listed Creative Suite programs. Without your new media course, I would have been overlooked in an instant!
And this may be a given, but I realize now how important it is to stay up on current events. The job market is tough and anything that can leverage you above the pool of other applicants is vital, even if it means starting a conversation with your future employer about the happenings of the world.
I hope this helps! There is no question that your courses propelled me to where I am today. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you need anything else!”
I’m Not Bragging or Nagging, I Swear
I show you this feedback not because I want to brag about my class or nag about reading the news more often, but because I want you to get the best job possible and realize what you need to learn to succeed.
On a related note, Ch. 1 (pp. 12-14) notes some specific skills that recent journalism and multimedia job advertisements requested. Examples include:
- Interest in information architecture, user experience, interactive design
- Conceptualizes and executes static and interactive graphic features;
- Takes a lead role in finding new ways to represent and communicate data;
- Stays up-to-date with trends in visual communication, especially web design standards and data visualization and analysis;
- Looks ahead not to where technology and storytelling and information distribution are right now, but where they could be in eight months, two years, or even ten;
- Knowledge of Final Cut Pro and Soundslides
- Excellent understanding of web standards, typography, and layout;
- Should be at ease with basic math and use of Microsoft Office Excel;
- Must be able to work independently and with a team;
- Ability to conduct research on a variety of subjects, including politics, science, finance, international affairs, and domestic affairs;
- Ability to work in a high-pressure deadline environment;
- Ability to serve as a leader and trainer for other journalists learning about multimedia storytelling.
This class will give a start on some of these skills. I strongly encourage you to fill in the gaps of this course with:
- Additional coursework that addresses these skills (e.g., COJO 4530),
- internships that provide experiences with these skills, and
- your own gumption and motivation to learn these skills on your own.