Six multimedia resources

From the pen to audiovisual production, from graphic design to social networks: These are tools that every digital or multimedia journalist must acquire. Did we miss any? Do you agree with the list? Join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

Video and Audio

Telling stories on video, using a professional camera or cell phone, is already a rule in contemporary media and has become an inescapable requirement for each journalist.

Fortunately, technological possibilities continue to flourish here and there. A few days ago, businessman Andrew Cadman presented in London his Blinked.TV project, a new free application that enables journalists and bloggers to broadcast video, audio and text via cell phone.

The demonstration was made at the conference Digital Storytelling ’10, an initiative of the collective of multimedia journalists Notonthewires.

Slideshows

Mainstream media is increasingly using this tool. The combination of audio and quality pictures allows us to produce stories with strong emotional impact.

British journalist Benjamin Chesterton is one among many journalists who are using the slideshow as their primary tool.

Chesterton uses Soundslides, but Photopeach and SlideShowPro are also good alternatives.

Social Networks

All talks on digital media point to the importance of social networks as a distribution channel and as a resource for news gathering.

The promotion of “citizen journalism” has a concrete expression in Demotix.com.

CMS

It has become vital for bloggers to have a Content Management System.
WordPress, Movable Type, Blogger and Tumblr are some of the more developed and user-friendly open source systems nowadays. retoNet is preparing an special tutorial on using these systems to create dynamic websites.

Graphic Design

Visual representation of information through computer graphics, maps, photos or illustrations is a key resource on the Internet. It helps audiences to focus their attention when surfing the web.

The New York Times is cutting edge in this field. The NewsWall created by the British newspaper The Independent is an original experience in this regard.

Technical and design skills are essential in producing quality visualizations and it is important to get some training or seek the collaboration of graphic design professionals.

Text

The written word is an ancient tool that does not lose its power, even online. Among the cascade of photos, slideshows, videos, galleries and podcasts, text also has a primary role and, without it, multimedia journalists lose much of their impact. Images not always tell the whole story.

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