Haiti, One Year Later (view this story)

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Rep: 141
Colin Mulvany Jan. 30, 2011, 11:05 p.m. permalink

What a great opportunity to be able to go to Haiti and cover the one-year anniversary of the earthquake Julia.

In “Feedback Requested," you ask:

"The days spent there were long. How do people cope with exhausting days and then having to sit down and EDIT?"

That is a good question and one that shows up in your story. On a project like this, it is important to have a solid idea what type of story you want to tell before you start shooting. In your video/audio slideshow I kept asking myself:  “What is this story about?” Going from Finding the Frame directly to the video on your newspaper’s website gave me little information to help me in my quest.  What you showed me was a collection of decent photos layered with some vague ambient sound. Then you hit me with a unexpected clip of video at the end.

So what could you have done better and still make your deadline?


This piece either needs to be a standalone photo gallery (with cutlines), which I think would have worked well, or you could have kicked it up a dozen notches by adding a voiceover narrative mixed in with some interviews. Photos without cutlines have little meaning to me as the viewer. And don't assume I would have read the print story. If this video is where I ended up first, chances are I would have never moved on the print story. There is simply not enough information to motivate me. What part of Haiti was this video shot, Why are they singing, is it some sort of commemoration of the anniversary? Your audio slideshow lacked a storyline. It left me with many questions—all unanswered. That is the first check in a multimedia piece you should ask yourself before posting: Have I answered all the questions for my viewers? Answer yes, and you are on your way to better storytelling.

Define your story early. 

Don’t waste the viewer’s time. Web viewers are fickle and will bolt fast. Grab them in the first 15 second and don’t give them a reason to leave.

Finally, and most important, is to take ownership of your storytelling. Even though you were teamed with a reporter, I don’t see her input anywhere in this piece. If you are not collaborating with the reporter beyond illustrating their print stories, then it’s up to you, the multimedia journalist, to craft a well-rounded narrative to support your visuals.

As an exercise, I think you should go back and write and record a voiceover for this story. I think you have all the visuals you need. With some well-written narration, this could be excellent.






Rep: 4
Julia Xanthos Jan. 31, 2011, 4:09 p.m. permalink

Thank you Colin. I will use this as an exercise to put together a piece where I do collaborate with the reporter. I know she would love to work on this with me. I have plenty of pieces it is just a matter of producing it cohesively. I should have given the link directly to the story rather than video page. javascript:nicTemp();

Learning everyday,

Rep: 141
Colin Mulvany Jan. 31, 2011, 7:53 p.m. permalink


Take a look at this Mastering Multimedia post on How best to approach a video story. Just some things I learned along the way. By-the-way, how'd you like shooting with the D7000?

Rep: 4
Julia Xanthos Jan. 31, 2011, 8:20 p.m. permalink

I did read that post on the Mastering Multimedia blog a while back. Actually I was signed up for the Multimedia Immersion when I read it and was psyched that workshop was recommended. I agree with all the critiques you gave on the Haiti piece and am kicking myself for posting it. Will produce a more polished project out of the work we did there, one that tells the story.

As for the D7000 I just started using it. So far I love it for photos and I will be bringing it along with me next week to the Platypus Workshop as my main camera.

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