Multimedia Packages are Becoming the Norm for Journalism Web Sites

Video is merging with animation, audio, and text to create the multimedia packages that are becoming increasingly familiar – and expected – at leading journalism Web sites.

Media Web sites are looking less like their original printed or television broadcast products and developing their own styles, the panel at the 7th International Symposium on Online Symposium at the University of Austin emphasized. The new journalism style offers more in-depth looks into topics with a variety of ways to interact with the content.

Ashley Wells’ helmet offers a 360-degree view from which the audience can view stories like “Rising From Ruin, Two Towns Rebuild After Katrina.” is the first to use the technology in the journalism field.

“That to me is one way that you can take multimedia to another level and embarrass yourself at the same time,” Wells said.

In the last year, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram began implementing more multimedia into its Web site by hiring its first and only multimedia producer, Jen Friedberg, in September 2005. Now the site features video and other flash packages.

“We’re thinking this is sort of the essence of journalism – that we can be your eyes and ear,” Friedberg said.

Spain’s newspaper El Pais offers music, video, and even short film clips on its website,, which targets younger viewers. El Pais editor Jose Manuel Valenzuela said the paper wants to offer a site where people can not only read reviews but experience the media firsthand.

“We don’t have to tell the people this is a good album, (or) this is a bad album. We just put the album up,” Valenzuela said.

So far the response to is going well, Valenzuela said. Viewers can spend time watching music videos, explore the wreckage in Mississippi on, and pity grackles on

“Never underestimate the will of American people to waste time at work,” Wells said.

ISOJ 2006: Multimedia Journalism Narrative, from Knight Center on Vimeo.