Layering the news

Slide shows, videos, flash animations–there are lots of different ways to tell a visual story online. Now you can add one more: the photostory collage. A new service from VuVox allows journalists to build multimedia stories in layers. Watch Richard Koci Hernandez of the San Jose Mercury News demonstrate and explain how he uses it:

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Now explore the finished product: Where We Live: Willow Glen.  I like the way the “thought bubbles” let you choose whether to read a caption and also provide links to more information if you want it.  But I did find myself wishing that the links led to more video instead of audio slide shows.  What’s your view?

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4 Comments

  1. Deborah,
    Your wish for more video is the broadcast journalist in you talking. We like video. The audio slide shows are great to EXPAND the story, but the moving images are usually stronger storytellers. The demo portion of this interview is good. But, I think the back-and-forth conversation probably needs to be a separate element or clip. I can see students drifting — as these guys started using some of the Web jargon.

    This interview could also work well in an advanced photojournalism or visual journalism class. (I’m teaching a first course in multimedia writing and reporting).

    I think the term the interviewer used– “normal” people– is interesting. What’s NORMAL in most newsrooms today? (newspaper or TV).

    KEY POINT that comes near the end of the interview: “The hardest thing with a new medium is to take traditional thinking and move it into the new medium”

    The “heat map” is another interesting point that connects to the ongoing discussion about EYETRACKER research and the capacity of the Web to tell what people really are interested in.

    Wow, this looks like raw video of a show that goes on for a while. I had to dump out at about 40-minutes.

  2. You’re right, George, it’s a long show-and-tell, but it could be a useful way to introduce the collage concept before turning people loose to try it for themselves. It’s obviously best suited to material with a long shelf-life; I’d love to see it tried on a hard news topic or investigation. Let us know if you decide to use this software/technique and where we might see the results.

  3. Thanks for the link, Dane. The Mercury News also is part of the Bay Area News Group, so perhaps all of the papers are experimenting with VuVox. Interesting stuff.

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