They say all good things must come to an end. Saturday marked the last day of my Online Journalism II class. My classmates and I stepped into the course with open minds, yet slightly intimidated by the new software we would learn. After watching our final group presentations, which was a presentation of our multimedia website, I saw how far we’ve come.
The most important lesson I have learned is how to combine multimedia elements to create great journalistic pieces. I have summed it up in this philosophy; use print to explain, use multimedia to show and use interactivities to demonstrate and explain.
My group created a website focusing on the buying process for first time home buyers. There were four major multimedia elements that we added to the site. We used text because it is the foundation for any journalistically sound piece. The text portion of the site shows off our writing and reporting skills. Like Chet Rhodes from the Washington Post reminded us, great websites are no substitute for sound journalism. A podcast served to be an effective element on our website. The podcast featured two lenders and a real estate agent. It is my personal belief that podcasting brings in the “human element”. I feel audio creates validity when accompanied with a text story; you are getting the information right from the source. Videos and narrated slideshows were the last two major elements used to engage our audience. The elements worked well to show the home-buying process over time.
My class mates and I are at the half-way point in our multimedia program. If we take only one concept with us from this program it will be that a great story can be told effectively in many platforms, and still be great journalism.
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