Response to Readings and Viewings_Summer Hatfield

My respect for multimedia as a powerful tool was first piqued after the Arab Spring began.  It blew my mind that so much could be accomplished via platforms like Facebook and Twitter.  Even still, I’ve always avoided them like the plague, I think because I never really saw how they could apply to my life personally or professionally, or how I could apply these and other aspects of multimedia to the work I want to do.  But that is all starting to change as I learn more about what other journalist are doing.  There were a couple of things in particular that really stood out to me in our readings and viewings this past week. One was something that Jo Ellen said in the Transmedia video.  She said, “We actually find that the aspect of intertextuality is what we think makes impact. That’s one of the reasons we have so many different media makers working together—because it’s not just that people find the content on different platforms, but they hear somewhat different stories from a number of different sources, and those things start bouncing around, and that creates a kind of viral effect. We’re going to be doing a reproductive justice collaboration, where we have like 20 or 30 outlets all writing around the same type of story in their own ways, and we think that that will create some kind of buzz that will actually push into consciousness.”  This idea of how to push something into consciousness is one that I think a lot of people struggle with, but I think she makes a great point, and it backs up something else she said, which is that to get impact today you have to go where audiences are, which means across multiple platforms.

Another great question Jo Ellen brought up is the one of what has changed in journalism vs what to preserve.  One obvious big change I think we’re seeing more of is the emergence of video.  Which leads to something I found interesting in the Susan Philips piece, and that is the idea of film as a transformative force.  I was really struck by the Precious Places videos, and I love the idea of collaboration. One thing that was mentioned in the article is that compelling storytelling plays a crucial role in shaping culture by encouraging the changes in perspective necessary for social movements to flourish.  If theres one thing almost every writing class taught me its to write about what you know, and that will make for the most compelling stories.  So if we apply that same concept to video, then having people who have experienced what they are making films about could potentially produce some of the most compelling videos.  And even if they are not the ones producing the videos, they can still provide the crucial information necessary to tell a good story if we take the time to really listen. And thats one thing from traditional good journalism I think needs to be preserved.  The added benefit I see in videos like Precious Places, that was also mentioned in the Transmedia video, is that advocacy groups are all about keeping things going, which can improve the afterlife of a project immensely.

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