Education

Push for Multimedia

By Cheri Hung — September 07, 2006 2 min read

You might have heard the term “multimedia storytelling” before. It has been around even before broadband connection was available to consumers. Now, with broadband connection at almost 60 percent of U.S. households, multimedia is everywhere. You can hardly visit a major news site without seeing something labeled as “multimedia” (or sometime categorized as “interactive”).

What Is It?
Multimedia combines traditional storytelling formats (i.e. text, audio, video, photo etc) to more effectively tell a story and thus enhancing users understanding and experience. However, a multimedia piece might not necessarily include all the traditional formats (sometimes even just one format). What separates this format from other traditional formats is non-linear storytelling. Multimedia is (or should be) interactive and it allows users to control how they go through a story. Interactivity—doesn’t it sound like something made for the Web? And it has been propelled largely by the development of the Internet.

Multimedia at edweek.org
At edweek.org, we’ve been producing multimedia content for a while now. For instance, we regularly produce audio/photo slideshow galleries, and interactive graphics.

We would like to do more. We’d like to offer content that fully utilizes the potential that multimedia storytelling and the Web provide. This was the motivation for me to attend the University of North Carolina Multimedia Bootcamp last month.

A First Attempt
The Bootcamp was a 6-day workshop hosted by UNC at Chapel Hill that focused on multimedia storytelling. It was intense, with 12-hour days (hence the name “bootcamp”). Presenters were experts in their fields (i.e., video, audio, info graphics, etc). Participants were made up largely of photojournalists (what I used to be) and also videographers, newspaper editors, and online producers/designers (what I am now).

The fun part was actually producing stories in various media. In order to do “multi”-media, one would first need to know how to produce each medium (and produce it well), right?

Below is a video clip produced by me and three other participants at the Bootcamp (click play button please).

Each of us took turns shooting video footage and later edited the 20-minute footage to a 1-minute clip. This is no Pulitzer (clearly) but a humble first attempt. We hope to bring more multimedia content to you in the future, be it audio, video, interactive graphics, or all of these.




Cheri Hung
Online Producer and Designer

A version of this news article first appeared in the Behind the Scenes blog.