January 10th, 2008
Work must flow
By Ron Sylvester
We’ve had some fun, so far, diving into multimedia and online journalism.
But it hasn’t been easy. We’ve spent hours of our own time learning the basics of audio and video to try to deepen our work. Now it’s time to put all of this to good use and just make it a part of our jobs. It’s time to stop talking and start etching these new skills into our everyday lives.
You’d think our new cutting edge skills would be reason to celebrate.
“We’ve got a paper to put out.”
“Quit playing with the new toys.”
“Don’t put that story online this afternoon. People won’t have anything to read in the paper tomorrow morning.”
Those required to make on-line a part of their jobs can’t be expected to simply add it to their current workload. The new tasks must become a respected part of a reporter’s or photographer’s workday.
Creating and maintaining news blogs is as difficult as writing a column. An audio slide show is as challenging as writing a story. Video? More so.
We need to figure out how to write the story, edit the audio, video, and get it all on-line. It can be done. Think on-line first. Write shorter stories. Use extra information in multimedia. Stories that don’t fully bloom, put as quick hits on a blog. Use blog items as briefs for print.
Reporters need time to make the couple of extra calls needed to covert an on-line item into a short story. Editors need to have multimedia skills.
But it has to become a part of the job.
This isn’t extra stuff. It’s the stuff.