Thursday, November 05, 2009

Convergence Conference: Slide shows

Jonathan Lillie, Loyola-Maryland: Newspaper journalists as multimediators

Exploratory study of audio slide show producers – ended up with 30 papers

• Most doing it are photojournalists (27). Others: multimedia specialists (16)
• Most self-trained
• Almost all use Soundslides
• On average create one or two a month

Slideshows were seen as an alternative to video, which management pushed but photojournalists resisted.

Almost all said it improved their reporting – more involved in the process. More competition with reporters to get good assignments.

Most see themselves using an "NPR" style more than a local broadcast style.

Other observations
• It does require extra work, and that cuts into the time for better photojournalism.
• But most do believe they are worth the extra effort
• There is pressure to "get it up" without necessarily an emphasis on quality.
• Pressure from management still to do video. Management believes video gets the most hits and that pressure is on for "hits."

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At 11/5/09, 1:36 PM, Blogger Tom Priddy said...


Good post. As a strong proponent of audio slideshows, I agree with what was said here, with one itty bitty elaboration.

Photojournalists have "resisted" doing more video, but not because we don't think video is a good storytelling tool or because video takes more time than slideshows. Slideshows probably take just as much time. Video can be a terrific storytelling tool.

The point that I want to make is that we have found that people really don't want to watch anything but "stupid human" videos on the Web.

We can get huge numbers on slideshows, far more than for any videos. That's been our experience. It's a better return for our time, and we can print the best stuff in the paper.


At 11/5/09, 3:08 PM, Anonymous Erik Gable said...

That's what I've heard as well, which is why it surprises me to hear people are being pressured for video to drive hits ... everything I've heard suggests that most videos really aren't big traffic drivers.


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