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Posts Tagged ‘multimedia journalism’

The CIR Is On It: Telling the Story of Solitary Confinement for Teens Over, and Over, and Over Again

CIR the boxThis week, the Center for Investigative Reporting released a print story, a short animation, and a photo essay about solitary confinement for adolescents in the U.S. prison system. That’s in addition to a NewsHour and a public radio piece released last month and to a yet unreleased half hour documentary and graphic novel. By the end of the month, there will be around 10 pieces of the adolescent solitary confinement story circling you on one form of media or another.

It’s enough to make you rethink what you’ve been reporting on all year. CIR reporters Daffodil Altan and Trey Bundy started over a year ago trying to gain access into prisons and report on conditions for teens. Altan says that the access issues surrounding the story seemed “almost insurmountable” at a certain point. Instead of being deterred, they pressed on and worked on thinking of different ways to handle the content. Says Altan:

We started of thinking of ways to tell the story even though we were dealing with essentially invisible sights. That’s  where the idea for the animation came up. We had met this very compelling young man in New York who told us about his experience at Rikers very powerfully and we had all this tape of him…we decided to try to take 3 hours of interview and see if we could carve that into something smaller and with a narrative arc.

And so the reporting team of two or three turned into a team of somewhere around 15-20, according to Bundy. Bundy says that as they are reporting they’re “always having conversations about what else we can do besides what we’ve already settled on.” In this case, there was a written story in mind, with photos to boot. But a colleague who acts as a liaison between the CIR and KQED “heard radio all over this,” says Bundy. When New York State started talking about banning the practice of solitary confinement for teenagers, NewsHour suddenly wanted the story sooner. “That wasn’t always supposed to be the first piece that was released on this,” Bundy adds. Having the story told across platforms means you reach more people. Says Bundy, “There’s some overlap between people who listen to public radio or watch NewsHour, or read Medium, but it’s not total overlap. The benefit of having multiple platforms is that you are going to catch multiple, different types of audiences, hopefully.”

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So Many Digital First ‘News’ Outlets, So Little Investigative Reporting

The 2014 duPont Award Winners from Alfred I. duPont Awards on Vimeo.

The winners of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards were announced this week, and though they are given for broadcast, radio,  and multimedia reporting, it’s sort of surprising that more digital projects weren’t awarded a coveted silver — or even gold — baton. Read more

Send Your Multimedia Story Ideas to Audubon

Journos covering all things green can land a byline at the website of Audubon, one of the nation’s oldest continuously published magazines. The advocacy magazine promotes the mission of saving birds, wildlife and habitat and serves as the flagship publication of the National Audubon Society, one of the oldest environmental groups in the country.

The mag’s website covers the same nature-friendly topics as the print mag, and editors are open to hearing from freelancers who want to write Web content and establish a relationship with the pub. In particular, they would love to receive more multimedia pitches, like videos, slideshows and audio pieces. 

For more info, read How To Pitch: Audubon.

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Pitch Your Multimedia Ideas to SI.com

Sports savvy freelancers who have a knack for multimedia are welcome to pitch their ideas to SI.com, where all sections are open to freelance pitches. Photos, videos and podcasts are all game, and can be pitched separately from the rest of a story.

Executive editor B.J. Schecter advises freelancers to pitch specific angles that “go beyond the action on the field” or explore new or untapped issues. Still, if a writer comes to SI.com with a scoop on a player in a major sport that the site has yet to uncover, Schecter will listen. “Anything that’s a really good story,” he said of the perfect pitch. “If it’s a mainstream thing we haven’t touched on or you have special access. I’m always looking for a good story.”

Get all the details in How To Pitch: SI.com. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

Snowed In? Read, Watch NYT‘s Avalanche Multimedia Package

On this holiday week, I’m out of town but still couldn’t escape the blizzard conditions blanketing the Midwest and much of the rest of the country. So I’m settling in with a story and amazing piece of multimedia from the New York Times that I bookmarked last week. It’s an absolutely beautiful and breathtaking tale of an avalanche in Washington state, both the events leading up to and the people involved in the event in the moments before, during and following the event. The reporting, the writing, the photography, the videography, the audio, the use of animations and maps, and the overall story design… everything comes together into one of the single best pieces of multimedia content I’ve ever seen. This story is what multimedia packages ought to aspire to be.

NYT Snow Fall intro

So if you’re like me, home from the office and snowed in for the day, take a half hour (or more) to browse through the beautiful and thrilling story, “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek.” It’s a great read and a great example of how old-school reporting and storytelling play perfectly with new media tools to take a story from good to great and tell it in a way online the Internet could allow.

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