Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Three Great Multimedia Stories

Multimedia reporting is growing up, and these three stories offer readers, customers, and users, an engaging experience:

For "A Changing Mission", San Francisco Chronicle reporters spent eight months interviewing residents of 24th Street about the gentrification of the Mission District. The result? A collection of 13 stories, each offering a unique view of today's San Francisco.

"A Changing Mission" features photography, maps, video interviews, graphs and statistics. It's a great example of what's quickly becoming the standard approach to telling stories with multimedia.

Ditching the traditional lookbook, menswear brand Bush + Leavenworth created a photographic storybook that tells the fictional (and futuristic) story of Mason, a scientist who finds solace in his family's organic farm.

The presentation of Mason's story isn't especially different from the media's approach to multimedia storytelling (there's some parallax scrolling, plus writing and photography), but Bush + Leavenworth is noted for applying it to retail (although, one shouldn't be TOO surprised about this, considering the people behind B+L are largely professional animators and illustrators).

Customers that dig Mason's style can buy it directly through the website.

3. ME-MO Magazine

Available for the iPad, ME-MO Magazine (or "MEmory in MOtion") is the ultimate multimedia experience, and the closest thing to interactive journalism I've seen so far. The free demo (which can be downloaded via Apple's Newsstand) includes "States of Identity", a story that prompts readers to plug in their headphones, and navigate the story by tilting and turning their iPad.

Readers also have the option to skip this feature and scroll through content. However, creating an experience is where MEMO excels. MEMO is loaded with stunning photography, writing, maps, and sound; most of which are interactive in some sense.

The first issue of ME-MO Magazine is available for $10.00 through the app store, and a demo is available for free. For more information about the founding of MEMO, Time Magazine has a nice write-up here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Reported.ly Launches, Covers #CharlieHebdo

Last month I dropped a link to Reported.ly, a social network newsroom that was soon to launch. Where other newsrooms may begin with a print publication and then use social media to share that same content (usually after the magazine or newspaper has already hit the stands), Reported.ly is meant to be a newsroom that's start-to-finish online.

Online, the Reported.ly team uses social media to chase and share leads (publicly), communicate with reporters covering the story in person (publicly), and then report directly back to readers; creating an instant stream of up-to-date news.

That's the goal. Reported.ly launched less than 48 hours before the Charlie Hebdo shooting, and the chaos was a "Baptism by Fire" for the team.

It thrills me that in keeping with their commitment to transparency, Reported.ly has written an article describing the process of covering Charlie Hebdo, and how they plan to improve that process in moving forward. I'm really excited to see how Reported.ly evolves throughout this year.

Read "Baptism By Fire: What We Learned Covering #CharlieHebdo On Our 3rd Day" by Reported.ly

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

An Argument for Multimedia Journalism

For the budding photojournalist navigating the waters of modern journalism, this is a thoughtful article to chew on. And I am chewing on it. There's been a greater push for online, multimedia stories that include not just writing and photography, but also video, interactive maps, and live streaming via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Where one or two images used to summarize the contents of an entire story, readers seem to be craving more.

In a nutshell, "How Photography's 'Decisive Moment' Often Depicts an Incomplete View of Reality", by Fred Ritchin, comments on how some photojournalists have been accused of creating a simplified view of the world. It argues that, actually, the issue may lie in the rigid presentation of their work by publishers.

In all fairness, there's only so much detail one can glean from single photograph. Journalism's answer to this, so far, has been to forge the kitchen sink of storytelling, multimedia. These stories are, optimistically, more honest and, hopefully, more entertaining for the reader. And this editorial is a fair argument for it.