I spend a good portion of my day trying to convince journalism students that our industry is not about to self-combust. This can be a challenging prospect, when you can’t engage with any media without an overwhelming message of ‘the era of quality journalism is over’. But it is the opportunities offered by the online medium to tell stories (because let’s face that’s what journalist’s do – albeit true stories) in new and powerful ways. The audio slideshow is a prime example of this. In Australia, I don’t believe we are utilising this powerful story telling tool enough. Major online news sites tend to be over-impressed with video. But a still image used with a combination of reporter voice, natural sound and interviews can capture your audience’s attention in a captivating manner. (For more on this take a look at Mindy McAdams post on telling a story with sound and images)
Take these U.S. examples:
The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto (The New York Times)
On-the-scene photos and a voiceover narration by photojournalist John Moore. I would say this collection of images — an audio slideshow without natural sound — is better than video. Notice the inclusion of several photos that are completely out of focus — pictures you would never see in a newspaper. It is a powerful addition to the reporting of the event.
Or another from the New York Times that uses stunning photography combined with natural sound and interview to tell the story of a platoon ambush in Iraq.
Where are the Australian examples?