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Chapter 5




Visual storytelling





Spend some time looking at this classic multimedia package about an avalanche and its aftermath in Washington state. Then write a response to the following prompts in around 350 words:


a.  What is you initial response to the package?  Was it easy to navigate?  Did it draw you in?  Which features did you find yourself drawn to first?  Did you read the whole story?  If not, where did you stop?


b.  Watch the package’s videos.  What does each contribute to the package?  Was video the best medium to use?


c.  What seems to be the focus of the print story?  What does it contribute to the package?




For the Fact Set below,


a.  Research and write a script for a 30- to 45-second audio story, including a description of ambient sound.  You can indicate ambient sound by inserting an italicized parenthetical phrase right in the script, like this:











b.  Research and write a two-column script for a 45- to 60-second video.


c.   Write a four- to five-paragraph print story.

d.  Write a one-paragraph online teaser for the print story.


Water is scarce in the Four Corners region of the country, even in the mountains of Colorado and New Mexico.  Although it’s not yet a drought condition, it’s been pretty dry in the summers, with inconsistent snowfall in the winter.  People are installing sprinkler systems to supplement the water that nature provides. 


Area sprinkler installers are being kept busy—with installation, maintenance and repairs, and turning systems on in the spring and off in the fall.  Jimmy Sanders of Sanders Sprinkler Solutions applauds homeowners who make the investment.  He said that frequently the system goes in to water a vegetable garden, which means people are getting local, fresh produce and reducing their carbon footprint.


Arborists in town recommend that people also water their trees during dry spells, by hand, if necessary.  An exact amount of water is difficult to determine, but it depends on factors such as the type of tree, its age and its size.  One arborist, Gus Tucson of Valley Arborists, said that if you select the right trees and treat them well, they can actually reduce water consumption because of the shade they provide, which keeps the ground from drying up as quickly.


All of that water comes at a price, according to the city water department billing supervisor Dale Richardson.  She says she routinely gets phone calls at the beginning of summer from people who think they’ve sprung a leak in the water pipes in their house.  The first question she asks is whether they’ve recently installed a sprinkler system.  Almost to a person, the answer is yes.  For an average-sized lot in town, the sprinkler system can double the previous monthly water bill, Richardson said.


Weather information for the region can be found at websites like this.


THE SCRIPT FOR WHAT THE REPORTER WILL SAY REMAINS IN ALL CAPS (When you want to start ambient sound, write, in italics, something like, “Crowd noise begins here.”).  THE AMBIENT SOUND WILL CONTINUE UNTIL YOU WANT IT TO STOP (and then you would write something like, “Crowd noise ends here.”). IF THERE IS MORE TO YOUR SCRIPT, YOU WOULD CONTINUE.

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