A lesson in multimedia journalism

A screenshot from In Jennifer's Room.

A screenshot from In Jennifer’s Room, produced by Carrie Ching.

Award-winning multimedia journalist Carrie Ching has been testing the bounds of journalistic storytelling for years.

Carrie Ching

Carrie Ching

In one of her more talked about productions, Ching produced an illustrated video to tell the story of Jennifer — a mentally disabled girl, who was raped and became pregnant while she was a patient at a California developmental centre.

Check out the piece, called In Jennifer’s Room — an example of her avant-garde work. It’s worth the 10 minutes.

Ching has written a story for Poynter called, How news can compete with cat videos: 6 lessons for multimedia journalists.

Any journalists looking to thrive in the industry should be learning to create and contribute to multimedia productions. Ink and paper storytelling alone won’t cut it once the smoke clears in this depressing time of cutbacks, buyouts and layoffs. The landscape is changing and us journalists can’t bury our heads in the sand forever.

Ching says that trying to translate complex stories into multimedia presentations is difficult. However, she says she faced an even more daunting task: “The larger challenge was pushing new ideas forward in a traditional news environment.”

She continues: “Breaking out of traditional journalism formats can be difficult—even unpleasant. New methods are often perceived as a threat. But you can’t just slap TV and newspaper stories onto the Web or mobile or tablets and call that ‘digital’ journalism. The content itself needs to change.”

Amen.

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