Free resource: Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency

Noted journalism educator Mindy McAdams has collected 15 of her blog posts on multimedia journalism into the “Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency.” The free 42-page PDF document is available in English and Spanish and is “fully linked and usable online in most Web browsers, or in Adobe Reader, or in Preview on the Mac OS.” Invaluable for the next generation of journalists!

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Washington Post combines print and digital operations

Long after many other news organizations had merged their print and online operations, The Washington Post finally made its first step in that direction in spring 2009. Howard Kurtz, Post media critic and host of CNN’s Reliable Sources, told inVocus in an e-mail interview:

We’re all accustomed to writing for the Web by now. But that is increasingly becoming more important than ever, and yet we want to preserve the time to report and craft stories for the next day’s paper….For years Post reporters joked about what was dubbed MLE, or Multiple Layers of Editing, and in a tough financial climate that’s something we no longer need, if we ever did.

Read the full story at the inVocus Media Blog; you’ll need to search for “Washington Post” to find this article.

Good tutorial for adding audio clips to stories

Here’s a great little tutorial to help students embed audio clips in their online stories: “How to Embed MP3 Audio Files In Web Pages With Google or Yahoo! Flash Player

Newspaper survival advice: Use social media, multimedia

In “To Prepare for the Future, Skip the Present,” Dennis Roussel offers 10 steps for newspapers looking to survive. Among them are two of great importance to budding journalists:

  • Engage with your readers. The explosion of blogging and social media Web sites has created a culture in which consumers of news expect to be included in the news publishing process. Closed operations that shun reader engagement will increasingly be seen to offer a second-rate experience. Create functionality that encourages readers to share eyewitness accounts of breaking news, rate services such as restaurants and hotels, and get into discussions and debates.
  • Embrace multimedia. Train editors to see video, photo galleries, graphics and maps as equal storytelling forms to text. A story about Tina Fey’s takeoff of Sarah Palin is incomplete without video highlights from “Saturday Night Live.” A story about a soldier’s life on the frontline in Afghanistan is best told with video, a map, and pictures as well as text.

25 Free Digital Audio Editors

One of the best things about creating multimedia is that great software is available for free. For example, Hongkiat.com has compiled a list of 25 free digital audio editors. While many people are familiar with Audacity, there are lots of others on this list that are worth exploring.

Beyond the inverted pyramid: The news diamond

In his post “A Model for the 21st Century Newsroom: Pt. 1 — the News Diamond,” Paul Bradshaw offers a Web-first model of publishing that might prove useful for those teaching convergence journalism classes. He breaks the types of news reports into those that capitalize on the online mediums twin strengths of speed and depth. Compelling reading, as is Pt. 2 — Distributed Journalism.

Mindset is as important as skill set

Virginia Heffernan of The New York Times asks: “Does anyone still believe that the forms of movies, television, magazines and newspapers might exist independently of their rapidly changing modes of distribution? The thought has become unsustainable. ” Given that, for those working in traditional media, she recommends

they should imagine that they are 19 again: spending a day on Twitter or following a recipe from a Mark Bittman video played on a refrigerator that automatically senses what ingredients are missing and texts an order to the grocery store (it will soon exist!). Then they should think about what content suits these new modes of distribution and could evolve in tandem with them. For old-media types, mental flexibility could be the No. 1 happiness secret we have been missing.