Redefining Journalism

Teaching Multimedia- Week 1 Post

“What do you think journalism is?” That is the question that I start every new semester of intro journalism with. And every time it amazes me that the roughly 25 students staring back at me say something to the effect of “things you read in the newspaper.” They say this even knowing that the publication staffs at school are now defined as MEDIA staffs and include a website, social media accounts, video and more. But still, they answer with newspaper.

Don’t get me wrong. I love newspapers. Our student news magazine is still one of the most popular forms of “news” at our school, and I don’t think newspapers are totally dying. Despite all of that though, isn’t it about time that they start answering that question with things like video, charts, graphics, photos, polls, social media and more? They consume multimedia every day and aren’t even recognizing it as news.

I decided to write my first post with this simple message, because it’s the basis of this class. Defining multimedia. I’ve decided to make it my personal goal in that intro course to get them to see ALL of the magic that is journalism. In doing so, I work to teach them tools here and there, like Storify, Videolicious, Infogram and Twitter. More so even than teaching it though, it’s important that they just recognize the possibilities. Youtube can show them how to use Storify in two minutes. Without knowing it’s possible and journalistic though, they’ll never look.

My co-adviser and I are working with our staffs right now to push more multimedia use on the website. Would the story about the new ice cream parlor downtown be so much cooler with a video of a student’s visit and a Thinglink of the ice cream types? Of course the answer is yes. In this day and age, kids (and adults) want to see AND read. Journalism is so much more than just text now, and it’s important that we teach it that way and inspire our students to be more well-rounded journalists.

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The possibilities are endless with multimedia. It’s an advantage of living in 2016 and having the tools that we do. Let’s make use of it. Though this doesn’t directly stem from one of the readings, I’m constantly inspired by the JEA Digital Media Site and especially this week’s post on available tools found here. So excited to learn more this semester!

We also created an inspiration page for our staffers with great stuff from other schools and pros. Feel free to check it out here.

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