Don't fear moving on to multimedia

Believe half the stuff you read about multimedia journalism and suddenly a career in accountancy looks strangely attractive…

Running about town shouldering a video camera, mobile phone clasped to your ear, microphone in hand, pad and pencil between your teeth? No need to worry about a pension because you won’t be around to collect one… The truth is, however, a little less dramatic.

Staff moving to The Telegraph’s new headquarters last autumn were perhaps understandably wary of our strong commitment to offering high- quality content across a range of multimedia platforms, at different times of the day. How were they to cope, when the vast majority were from soley print backgrounds?

Many were reassured by our training programme, which offered editorial staff basic multimedia training. But what we really hope everyone took away from the week-long programme was the reinforcement of one central principle: the story is king.

The story is, after all, the only thing our readers, audience – call them what you will – are interested in. They care little or nothing about production schedules. They want to read, listen to or watch a story at a time and place of their choosing. What we need to ensure is that high-quality Telegraph content is made available using the most appropriate platform at the most appropriate time of day. The key word here is quality – the platform is secondary.

Clearly, anyone with skills in audio, video and other media disciplines are going to be of interest to The Telegraph. But if they can’t spot and communicate a story they will struggle.

So, the basic principles of journalism have not changed. It’s just that reporters and editors now have more tools in their tool kit.

The best tips for success? There are three:

• Remember – it’s about the story

• Be flexible – a story published online at lunchtime may have far more impact than one filed later that evening for the next day’s paper.

• Understand your audience – think about what they want and when they want it.

Multimedia journalism? Plus ça change.

No comments to display

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *