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Chapter 5




Visual storytelling







The Advanced Media Institute provides an extensive set of examples of multimedia packages and how best to decide your approach.

For some good examples of student multimedia news stories, see the Associated Collegiate Press contest winners.


You can follow up on the textbook's discussion of the Denver Post multimedia

coverage Aurora theater shootings coverage at the Pulitzer Prize website.


For more examples, head over to our Innovations and Multimedia pages.



"Great natural sound of the truck starting up"—let Brian Storm walk you through the decisions for choosing a platform in sample news stories.




In Michael Meckler's online radio journalism tutorial, you can read about some of the specific techniques for writing good radio stories in essays such as "Broadcast Sentence Structure" and "Using Numbers" (for broadcast stories).


This short BBC video provides a tutorial about recording audio with a smart phone.


Try using Audacity, a free online sound editor.





The BBC has a helpful discussion about how to write online news well.


Here are some straightforward tips for online newswriting from former journalism professor Bob Stepno.


See some of the best online journalism by checking out the Online News Association's annual awards.




"Snow Fall"

In 2013, The New York Times published a dramatic, long-form multimedia package about an avalanche that buried a group of skiers, killing three people. It was remarkable at the time—and won multiple awards—not only because of the team’s excellent reporting and storytelling, but also because of how clearly it illustrated the potential for multimedia stories. Notice how the story’s elements—such as the 911 audio, the videos, the photos, the dynamic map and the print story—work together to become a whole greater than any one of its parts. “Snow Fall” continues to be a valuable resource to help think through how—and through which media—to tell a story that is compelling, useful and relevant.  

Here's the Times' Insider column 10 years later reflecting on its impact on news storytelling.

Tropical Storm Hilary: a multimedia story for breaking news


In August 2023, as Tropical Storm Hilary approached landfall on the coast of Southern California, forecasters were expecting historic wind and rain, floods and damage.


KTLA-TV in Los Angeles posted a multimedia story including an updating timeline with print, video, photos and graphics—some which KTLA generated and some that they credit to other sources. The images, especially the videos, show what fast-moving water and compromised streets look like and how dangerous they can be—a caution for people who might be thinking of venturing out. The timeline keeps the audience apprised of breaking developments in bite-sized chunks of information. That strategy allows people to grasp the information more quickly than a long article, and it also makes getting the news posted quickly much easier. Here's their broadcast coverage from that day:

If you’ll be creating multimedia stories, you’ll want to conceptualize those stories—from the very start of the process—in terms of which medium can tell what part of the story best and how they all can work in conjunction with, and juxtaposition to, each other most effectively.

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