Category Archives: Multimedia

Multimedia Producer x 6 – Part 2

This the second batch of interviews I made for my Enterprise assignment. The first ones can be seen here.

Richard Koci Hernandez

Richard Koci Hernandez

RICHARD KOCI HERNANDEZ is a national Emmy award winning video and multimedia producer and worked as a photographer at the San Jose Mercury News for 15 years. His work for the Mercury News has earned him two Pulitzer Prize nominations. His photography and multimedia work has won numerous awards on the national and regional level, including two Emmy nominations. Koci Hernandez is currently a visiting Fellow at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

What is a Multimedia Producer?

A storyteller skilled in producing and editing in multiple formats. Someone who can take assets like photos, video, audio, text, data/numbers and create a compelling, interactive story that can be viewed on multiple platforms (web/mobile).

What is the need for this type of skilled professionals?

The quick answer is that the only openings in *journalism* are in this field. Despite layoffs, multimedia producers on the whole are still very marketable.

Where can MmP’s work? What are their business opportunities?

The great thing IMHO is that the skills of a multimedia producer crossover from traditional media/journalism into other fields like film/entertainment companies, non-profits, corporate, etc.

Which are the main problems that a MmP might find in the current situation of the news industry?

The pressure to learn and *know* everything.

Parts of the journalism industry aren’t seeing the monetary benefits of online departments, due to a lack of projected revenue from the web and are starting to cut positions.

A very competitive marketplace.

Colin Mulvany

Mastering Multimedia

Colin Mulvany is a multimedia producer at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington. A still photographer for the first 18 years of his career, Mulvany transitioned to shooting video and audio slide shows for his newspaper’s online site in 2005. He doesn’t claim to be an expert on multimedia.

Colin Mulvany
Colin Mulvany

What is a Multimedia Producer? A multimedia producer is a jack-of-all-trades in the newspaper business. Skills include being able to shoot and edit a video story, shoot meaningful still photos, gather and edit audio for audio slideshows and have a basic understanding how a newsroom online content management system works. HTML skills are a plus. In many organizations, the multimedia producer is also a teacher and digital mentor. He or she is expected to help train others in the newsroom in basic multimedia gathering and production.

What is the need for this type of skilled professionals? Most print publications have seen their online Web sites grow rapidly this last decade. Broadband, and wireless delivery help push demand for not only text, but for video, audio and photography. As advertising dollars are diverted to the web, there will be more demand for multimedia producers to create and manage this content.

Where can MmP’s work? What are their business opportunities? At the moment, job opportunities are tight at newspapers. Downsizing has hit all editorial employees, particularly online and photo staffs. I still see a growing demand for multimedia producers in the future as more publications begin to enhance their digital content with video and other visual content. New platforms such as mobile and touch tablets are showing great potential for future multimedia content. There is growth in other sectors as many businesses discover that multimedia content adds value to their Web sites. I think many laid off multimedia producers will form new ventures that will assist other businesses with integrating multimedia on to their Web sites.

Which are the main problems that a MmP might find in the current situation of the news industry? Many in upper management at publications lack the knowledge of what it takes (time and cost) to do quality multimedia. Because they do not understand the technical processes of multimedia production, they at times discount its true value. The news industry is in retrench mode right now. Most of the resources are going to their traditional print products as they try and save what’s left after so many rounds of layoffs. Many former newspaper multimedia producers are now working for Web start-ups or freelancing for corporate or commercial enterprises.

Read also this interview by Tracy Boyer. Speaking of which…

Tracy Boyer

Tracy Boyer

Tracy Boyer is an award-winning multimedia producer, specializing in interactive Web development and multimedia production. Currently, she is a dual master’s candidate (MBA/MSIS) at UNC-Chapel Hill where she is studying Human-Computer Interaction in the School’s Information Science program and Entrepreneurship at Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Previously, she was a multimedia producer at, served as the UNC correspondent for and interned with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In 2007, she was selected to participate in the Poynter Summer Fellowship. Boyer graduated with a multimedia degree from UNC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Her passions lie in travel and multimedia production with a focus on video, audio and interactive graphics. See more of her work at

What is a Multimedia Producer?

A multimedia producer is someone who utilizes multiple media to convey a message. Media is traditionally thought of as video, audio, text, photos, and graphics, but I also think it includes the medium used to tell the message and the broader scope of technology, such as mobile applications, gaming systems and other interactive consoles. Therefore, multimedia producers are not only concerned with combining media to tell their story, but utilizing different, and possibly multiple, avenues to present it.

What is the need for this type of skilled professionals?

Multimedia brings a sense of transparency and personalization so that professionals can more directly connect with their consumers. Thus, it can be utilized in numerous professions. The journalism industry is continually trying to attract the attention of its users by incorporating multimedia storytelling into their traditional print business model. Advertisers and marketers use multimedia on a daily basis to promote different products. Furthermore, businesses and non-profit organizations also utilize multimedia to connect with their consumers.

Where can MmP’s work? What are their business opportunities?

Multimedia producers can work within an organization, such as a media outlet, or as a freelancer. Depending on the size of the company, there may be options for multimedia producers to work directly within certain teams, such as marketing or public relations. There is also a growing number of companies that are solely focused on the creation of multimedia and integration of social media, such as MediaStorm, Bombay Flying Club, Duckrabbit, Horizon Productions, Story4, Weyo, etc. Some of those companies focus solely on producing content for non-profit organizations, while others cater toward media outlets and other companies. Personally, I believe there will be an increasingly larger need for both freelancers and outside multimedia companies as businesses and budgets downsize. For example, if a newspaper realized that they could hire an outside firm to produce a multimedia story for them on a contract basis, I think they should, and will, be much more likely to do so rather than pay a full-time worker with benefits.

Which are the main problems that a MmP might find in the current situation of the news industry?

This corresponds to my earlier answer in that I believe multimedia producers today should look to do one of three things: a) join an outside company specializing in multimedia production, b) freelance, or c) start their own company. The news industry will continue to downsize and since their major profits are still in their print product, they have been, and will continue to be, slow to invest in the resources necessary to provide an innovative and proactive community for multimedia and online production. So, rather than working for one news outlet, I would suggest finding a solution where you could work with multiple companies on a variety of projects.


Another amazing resource I found for this assignment was this grid, created by the Multimedia Standards team.  This type of content seemed to me to be difficult to be available, so I hope you found it useful. Thanks again to the interviewees, they were awesome. In fact, they are.

Multimedia Producer x 6 – Part 1

For my MA’s Enterprise assignment, I had to develop a business model for a project. Well, my project was all about promoting myself as a Multimedia Producer. Since I needed a to have a case study, I decided to interview the ones who are in the frontlines. I made a blunder in the second question, which proves you should leave your editing for the morning, and not send emails in the middle of the night, after 16 hours working in front of the computer. But these guys and gal were pretty generous, and gave me good answers anyway.

What I learned from this was that there’s a misconception of what is Multimedia Production on the part of the news companies, and that the market is really hard these days. But there is a need for professionals with multimedia skills. I’d like to thank these magnificent six for their time and contribution, and also to Mindy MacAdams for all the help. Let’s see how the grade turns out.

These are the first three, tomorrow i’ll post the others. Be sure to check out their work.

Jen Friedberg

Jen Friedberg is a multi media producer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Her work can be seen at

What is a Multimedia Producer?

Jen Friedberg's website

A Multimedia Producer is someone who makes sure that all of the proper video, stills and audio are gathered and packaged in a user-friendly way.

The Multimedia Producer may also gather some or all of the content his or herself and/or be the person who creates the display.  The content could be displayed in a single Flash presentation or possibly as smaller components linked to a common HTML based start page.

What is the need for this type of skilled professionals?

A strong knowledge of the basics of web design is a must.  If the producer is not a photographer, videographer or reporter his or her self, he or she must at least be familiar with those processes so that he or she can have a realistic idea about the time and resources needed for each part of the project.  The producer’s job is to deliver quality on budget and on time.

Where can MmP’s work? What are their business opportunities?

Multimedia Producers could be freelancers working for large corporations who need to produce multimedia content for their websites.  Some organizations like hospitals and universities often have their own Multimedia Producers.  They could also work for ad agencies, newspapers or TV stations, NPR or anyone with a large enough website to employ a multimedia producer.  Some examples are Yahoo, google, MSNBC.  Also,there are some new multimedia production houses like Media Storm.

Which are the main problems that a MmP might find in the current situation of the news industry?

New online tools and content management systems are making it easier for less skilled people to put together multimedia projects.  It’s now possible for an organization like a newspaper to use their existing staff to put these projects together without the need for a specialist.  Since newspapers are continuing to downsize, it is unlikely that they would hire a multimedia producer unless he or she had skills in several areas and could function as a photographer, reporter and videographer as well.

Mark S.Luckie

Mark S. Luckie is the author of 10.000words, one of the best blogs about multimedia and online journalism out there. Mark has produced multimedia and interactive projects for Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Times and Contra Costa Times (Ca.).

Mark S.Luckie

What is a Multimedia Producer?

In journalism, a multimedia producer is a journalist who combines different media such as photos, video, audio, text, and other media to tell a single story using several storytelling techniques.

What is the need for this type of skilled professionals?

There a wide variety of media skills that fit under the multimedia umbrella, but a multimedia journalist should know at least two different media skills that he or she can combine into a single story.

Where can MmP’s work? What are their business opportunities?

Multimedia producers can work every sort of journalism outlet including newspapers, television and radio stations, all of which have companion online sites where the multimedia stories resides. Multimedia producers can also work in other fields such as advertising and marketing, as well as freelance for the aforementioned industries.

Which are the main problems that a MmP might find in the current situation of the news industry?

Although multimedia skills are in demand, many news media do not have the financial resources to hire multimedia producers. There are a growing number of multimedia professionals, all of whom are competing for the same jobs. A marketable multimedia producer must have even more skills the average producer to ensure they land one of these coveted positions.

Zach Wise

zach wise

Zach Wise is an award-winning producer for The New York Times. Most recently his work a Peabody award and an Emmy nomination for “Choosing a President”. Before coming to the Times, he was the Senior Multimedia Producer at the Las Vegas Sun, where his work won many awards. He contributed to a Pulitzer prize winning piece on construction deaths on the Las Vegas Strip. His work at the Sun was also recognized at the Webby Awards, National Headliner’s Awards, Online News Association and NPPA Best of Photojournalism.

Wise was also a visiting professor for The School of Visual Communication at Ohio University where he was the executive producer of the Soul of Athens multimedia project and taught the classes that produced it. The project went on to win multiple awards from POYi and NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism.

What is a Multimedia Producer?

In the newspaper/journalism world this generally means someone who produces audio/visual narratives or interactive. In other professions such as tv/film/advertising a producer is the person who oversees a project. I was very confused by this when I first entered journalism having previously worked in the world of tv/film/advertising.

What is the need for this type of skilled professionals?

Not sure I understand this question. The skills needed? or the demand?

Where can MmP’s work? What are their business opportunities?

When I was teaching multimedia, most of my students found work in advertising and the corporate sector. In journalism, there is a great need for talented producers but few opportunities as with most jobs in journalism right now.

Which are the main problems that a MmP might find in the current situation of the news industry?

Quantity over quality is a large problem at smaller companies who are struggling with their identity as a news source.


Read the other three interviews here.

news:rewired – nudges and conclusions

the view of @drawnalism over #newsrw

I must confess i hate conferences. Well, i’ve been hating them, since i’ve never been to so many of them in such a short period of time, and because i’m not making the most of attending to these things. Conferences are not only places of discussion and learning with some of the best minds in a specific field, but mostly a place to interact with them, network with like minded people, make new friends, get into someone else’s list of professional contacts. Lately i’ve been feeling like a teenager avoiding all the cool kids. I’m starting to think i’m losing people’s skills, or my charm doesn’t work around here. I come from a different culture, and you brits sometimes don’t make it easy. But some do, actually, as i found out after the end of the conference, over a few beers.

I was approached by John Thompson, publisher and owner of, so, the man in charge of the operations. He kindly put up with my ranting about what i thought could do when covering the Journiverse, while i thanked him for my (nowadays undeserved) presence in their list of the best journalism blogs. John and his team do some of the best work i see related to the industry, and i’m constantly recommending their work. Another huge mistake i keep doing is not having a camera available to interview people, my Samsung Omnia has terrible video and sound quality, so i didn’t even tried, but my conversation with John could have been registered and posted here, instead of having to describe it using just words. Not much multimedia of me…

Other people that i managed to talk to IRL (in real life) for the first time we’re Laura Oliver, from, but i failed to meet Judith Townend. I got to “e-talk” with them a bit in the last two years, so it’s easy to have the “i kinda know you” feeling. Another great moment was when I intercepted Andy Dickinson, whom i must convince to taste some Portuguese wines, I owe him a bottle anyway. But if you’ve ever been to these events, you know it’s all three minute conversations, then change counterparts. After three beers in a nearly empty stomach i was feeling like a pinball (so unprofessional of me…) but i got to talk to Dave Lee, Adam Westbrook, Josh Halliday, and Phillip John that i already knew from Birmingham. But it was nice to get to talk to these guys in person, they are what i thought of them: smart and to be followed in their online presences, there is a lot to be learned from them.

It was a great day anyway, and the bullet points were the following:

– journalists can’t do everything, they need to find what they need to know;

– journalists need to be entrepreneurial;

-journalism is changing faster than we can be aware of that;

-journalism is still the same thing as it was before, but there is a plethora of new ways to do it, monetize it, distribute it, work on it;

You should check these websites to get a better picture of what happened during the conference: news:rewired, of course, with all the profiles of the speakers and some accounts on the sessions; Andy Dickinson talks about one of the sessions he attended; Adam Tinworth also reports on the sessions he attended.

Now i’m working on my assignments for the MA and looking for a place to work for the Labs phase next semester. This was a useful event for me, nonetheless, and i might profit from it in the near future. At least that’s what i hope. And if you see me at one of these things, please approach me, i might not recognize you, be offline, or just too shy that day.

Here are some images of the conference.

[UPDATE: Check this list of links for a broader coverage on the event]

news:rewired – how to make money

James Fryer, from
This is  post number four on the news:rewired conference. You can read the posts one, two and three too.

The final session of news:rewired was dedicated to the ugly side of the future of journalism: how to make money, why journalists are not making money, law and copyright, audiences and advertising. This was stuff journos never had to think about, but that they should consider in their everyday practice, so they can make it financially sustainable. But the trick to be successful is the same as before: be one of the best.

The first speaker of the panel was James Fryer, one of the founding editors of, the hyperlocal online magazine for Gloucestershire. I had already met James and his associate Michelle Byrne when they sat next to me during the morning sessions, and we got to talk about we should be networking more during the breaks. They we’re really nice, and as someone who developed an experimental hyperlocal website, i was interested in what they had to say.

Fryer gave us the top do’s and don’ts for a hyperlocal venture, and i’d like to highlight a few of his ideas.  He was one of the people who pointed out the obvious characteristic for any successful endeavor: be great. Without being great you’ll never stand out, and gain trust and respect from your audience and your advertisers. Besides that basic principle, you must know where you stand commercially, what is your market and it’s needs, and who could be your allies. But don’t forget to remain true to your starting idea, keep your editorial integrity. I’d like to see some of the major news outlets following some of these principles…

SoGlos was victim of some plagiarism, and the next speaker talked about just that. Caroline Kean is a lawyer, and she adressed some of the problems that affect online journalism, like copyright and privacy. She debunked the myth that if it’s on the web it’s free, and that companies should be careful about the misuse of costumers data. These are relevant questions that would suffice to organize a conference on it’s own. She was followed by Ben Heald,  “CEO of Sift Media, a leading business-to-business publisher specialising in online, interactive professional communities.” What i got from Heald’s speech was that pay walls will fail, and that money will come from niche communities that will pay for specific contents. I remember i liked his presentation, but i don’t have many notes about it. Probably it’s because he was stating something that was obvious for me, but that still hasn’t reached some minds.

Maybe me forgetting about Ben Heald’s presentation was Greg Hadfield‘s fault. The man has an incredible life story, and recent events in his professional course still put him in the game changers group. He delivered this simple yet powerful idea: journalists must act as entrepreneurs. This involves passion and vision, and one activity can’t be separated from the other. He said that when he was a journalist he never thought about advertising, it was “the stuff that made your article shorter”. Now it’s time to be entrepreneurial, since the face of the industry has changed forever. Adam Tinworth sums up some of Hadfield’s ideas here.

I must confess i was awfully tired by then, and a bit frustrated because i was looking around and recognizing some people from my twitter timeline and hadn’t networked with them live. Besides, wifi didn’t work for me and i had to sit offline the whole day, which put me in a state of deprivation close to a certified addict. But after this we had the End of Conference Drinks! More about that in the next post.

news:rewired – the afternoon sessions

This is the third post about the news:rewired conference. You can read the first and the second posts too.
Tony Hirst’s presentation at #newsrw. View more presentations from Tony Hirst.

In the  afternoon i was signed in for the Data Mashing session. I kinda expected it to be a bit technical, and i wasn’t wrong. You can’t learn how to create data visualizations and mashups in one hour, but you can get the logic and purpose of some applications to decide in the future if you’re going for this or that type of graph, or just to know that you can do this or that type of correlation between data sets. Data mashing is still a playground for those with a coder’s state of mind, and a nightmare for most of us mere wordsmiths.

So when Tony Hirst started his presentation the room was a bit caught off guard with the complexity of his work. Hirst started to explain that data tells stories, by using data visualizations reporters can look for anomalies, and find if that odd data means a story waiting to be told. He showed us some of the tools he uses in his projects with the Guardian’s Open Platform, like ManyEyes and YahooPipes, and how he geocodes that data with GeoCommons. It wasn’t a lecture for the faint of heart when it comes to coding and data geekery, but i can tell you i found it quite useful. Data mashing is one of the most important ways of getting those boring stories with loads of incomprehensible stats and figures into compelling, eye-catching visualizations. And they can also be a great tool in the research phase, when reporters are trying to look for the exception in the rule.

The next speaker showed us just that with his work with Francis Irving uses data to make the powerful accountable and in the users reach. He proved that presenting the TheyWorkForYou website and the new WhatDoTheyKnow. Both these enterprises use open data to hold local and national goverment representatives responsible for their actions during their mandates. It was the “why” to the “how” that Tony Hirst showed us before.

David Dunkley Gyimah talks about video

Another speaker that i was looking forward to hear was David Dunkley Gyimah. I‘ve been following his blog since i started my own almost three years ago. He got me looking into multimedia, video journalism and online video narrative in a different way. The fact he is a fan of experimentation and he supports the creation of a unique voice for each professional instead following the exhausted television news model makes his views more interesting to follow. It is always more appealing to me hear about video using terms like cinema verité and documentary, and his style is more related to a more cinematic narrative that i feel more interesting to be used online than the 90 second pieces for night news.

He compared online video to blogs, saying it was a disruptive way to present the news, and that the online video journalist could work between the cracks of broadcast journalism. Either way, with all the visual culture that most internet users have, online video is a good place to experiment, and since it needs to be done fast and effectively, we can use the error in our favor. The weapons of choice are becoming more numerous than before, and go from a pro hd camera to a cell phone. It’s always the story and the skills of the videographer that make the final result good or bad. You can see a hectic David doing his presentation in the video below.