Tag Archives: Multimedia

news:rewired – the Multimedia Journalism session

Top 10 skills for MMJ's
this is a second post about the news:rewired conference, read the first one here

At the news:rewired event we had to choose to attend one of the three sessions about Multimedia Journalism, Social Media for Journalists, and a Troubleshooting Panel on Online Journalism. I went for the most personally appealing and stayed in the lecture theatre  for the Multimedia Journalism session. I was curious to see what ideas and pointers the speakers had for an eager-to-learn-about-multimedia crowd. I think some in the audience we’re quite disappointed, but i believe they had the wrong expectations.

The first to take the stand was Adam Westbrook, one of my favorite media bloggers these days, i don’t know how does he do it, but his posts are usually nothing less than brilliant and he has a few ebooks of his own. When i later asked him about his secret he basically told me it was “by being unemployed and having a lot of free time on his hands.” Not unemployed, sorry, freelancing. It’s one of those things i’ll never get, bright people “freelancing”…

Adam, in a fast talking presentation, went through the disparities between both sides of the pond, how the Americans are investing more in multimedia than the British counterpart. I should add the rest of Europe too. There aren’t many examples of sustained investment in multimedia operations and features in the Old Continent. As an example, Westbrook referred the 1 in 8 million series from New York Times, and the several spin offs it had in other outlets.

Since he didn’t have much time, Adam Westbrook decided to show to the audience how AudioSlides work and why: they’re easy, cheap and fast to create and assemble, and if done properly, they can be more compelling than a video. Of course they don’t work every time, but he presented a slideshow that i had already seen at his blog a few weeks ago, that started out to be a video, but worked better as a slideshow. It’s worth watching.

This lightning presentation was followed by Steven Phillips’ from BBC London 94.9fm, that showed how they’re using AudioBoo along with Twitter with @bbctravelalert. I wish i knew about this before, because i was stuck at Whitechappel station in the Hammersmith&City subway train for over half an hour on my way to news:rewired. It seems it’s quite common… As a matter of fact, Phillips presentation wasn’t so much about multimedia, but how he develops his work in the new multimedia/multiplatform environment, using crowdsourcing, social networking, with free apps. Someone asked why was he narrowcasting, since the numbers weren’t that high. The panel quickly found the right answer: they’re developing a conversation, no expenses added. And that’s what these platforms are supposed to do.

And for last we had Justin Kings, who gave us the  great list of skills that multimedia journalists should have that you can see at the beginning of this post. Here’s the full presentation.

It was thought provoking, and i believe it raised awareness in the audience about what being a multimedia journalist is all about these days of fast development and uncertainty.

The debate that followed the presentation was also noteworthy, since it was led by two Financial Times reporters who were right when they said that multimedia packages were left out of these presentations, as also data mashups and visualizations. There is a whole world in multimedia besides video and audio slides, and their comment was valuable in the sense that it made me think how we narrow down the multimedia concept to some media, which may not be exactly considered as multimedia. They showed their own work at the newspaper with this interactive chart.

What was left out of this discussion and presentations was that there is more to multimedia than we traditionally defend. It’s not about putting images in motion, or making radio with pictures, but it’s all about using the right tools to tell stories in a non-linear way, with the users in control of the narrative. That is what makes the online journalism different from television, radio and print. Technology is a tool, not an end in itself. And then we went off for lunch, some of us a bit more passionate about the possibilities that lie ahead.

There are accounts about the other sessions. The Troubleshooting panel on Online Journalism was liveblogged, and so did the Social Media for Journalists session.

Portugal: Multimedia & Online Journalism Awards | Prémios de Multimédia e Jornalismo Online

Video Journalism award winner | Vencedor do prémio de videojornalismo
Video Journalism award winner | Vencedor do prémio de videojornalismo

Last week, the ObCiber awarded, for the second year, the best online journalism works in Portugal. It’s a good way to recognize and evaluate the state of multimedia and online activity of portuguese media, but the feeling I get is that there is a lot to be done.

If we look at the nominees, we see that, basically, only three different  major news companies made the cut: Jornal de Notícias, Público and Radio Renascença, which are in fact the ones who are developing multimedia in the newsrooms in a sustainable way. The portuguese public television RTP also made the list, with their effort in mobile journalism during the elections, something that deserves to be analyzed by itself, since it had an experimental side to it. But that will have to stay for later.

Here are the winners of this year’s edition:

Na semana passada, o Obciber atribuiu pelo segundo ano os prémios para o melhor jornalismo online em Portugal. É uma boa forma de reconhecer e avaliar o estado e a actividade online dos media portugueses, mas sinto que ainda há muito por fazer.

Se olharmos para os nomeados, vemos que basicamente apenas três marcas informativas chegaram lá: Jornal de Notícias, Público e Radio Renascença, que são de facto os que estão a desenvolver o multimédia nas redacções de forma sustentada. A RTP também está na lista, com o seu trabalho de jornalismo móvel durante a campanha eleitoral, algo que por si só merece uma análise mais aprofundada, devido ao seu lado experimental. Mas isso vai ter que ficar para outra altura.

Eis os vencedores deste ano:

Full House for JN | Full House para o JN
Full House for JN | Full House para o JN

The most nominated and biggest winner was the daily Jornal de Notícias, one of the top selling newspapers in Portugal. They were practically running by themselves in most categories, so the Overall Excellency in CyberJournalism award was more than expected. They also won in Best Multimedia Story, with a work about the credit crunch and citizen’s debts, and Best InfoGraphics with a work about Poker.

Público, last year’s big winner, got the Breaking News award. Radio Renascença, the most heard radio in the country, won in the Video category with a piece about nuns in a monastery (they’re a Catholic radio), rewarding their efforts in the video department, that is one of the most hard working in Portugal, and that has been consistently delivering good works.

In college journalism, the Porto’s University news endeavour JornalismoPortoNet took the prize home with the “Porto Adrift” dossier.

O mais nomeado e o maior vencedor foi o Jornal de Notícias, um dos jornais nacionais com maior circulação. Como concorriam  quase sozinhos na maioria das categorias, o prémio de Excelência Geral em Ciberjornalismo era mais do que esperado. Eles também venceram na categoria de Melhor Reportagem Multimédia, com um trabalho sobre o endividamento dos portugueses, e Melhor Infografia com um trabalho sobre Poker.

O Público, o maior galardoado no ano passado, venceu em Breaking News. A Rádio Renascença venceu na categoria de Video, com um trabalho sobre freiras num mosteiro (são a rádio  católica portuguesa), recompensando o seu investimento no departamento de video, que é um dos que mais e melhor trabalha no país.

No jornalismo universitário, o JornalismoPortoNet levou o prémio para casa com o dossier “Porto à deriva

Entre o deve e o haver - JN_1260276904278
Best Multimedia Story | Melhor Reportagem Multimédia

Alfredo Leite, deputy director of Jornal de Notícias, told me that these awards are the recognition  of the work that the newspaper has been developing, and an “added responsibility, since the Observatory (ObCiber) gathers some of the people we acknowledge as the most competent in Digital Journalism” in Portugal.

He claims JN is one of the most solid news websites in the country “though most times we are not seen that way” by a mainstream audience. “It is also the confirmation of a multidisciplinary team that slowly has been integrating in the digital platforms all the journalists and other resources” of the newspaper.

In my opinion, there has been an evolution in Portuguese multimedia news but there is a lot to be done. What i hear is that some strategic mistakes have been made in some newsrooms, by appointing people who know nothing about the internet to coordinate multimedia, the neglect of the online towards a dead tree investment, and a demand for quality where there are no minimum working conditions.  But  that is not journalism, is plain politics.

Still, some are trying. And those will be the ones who will succeed.

Tell me what you think about these works in the comments.

Alfredo Leite, director adjunto do Jornal de Notícias disse-me que estes prémios são “o reconhecimento do trabalho que o JN tem vindo a desenvolver, muitas vezes de forma invisível, de consolidação da sua edição digital” e “uma responsabilidade acrescida já que este Observatório reúne algumas das pessoas a quem mais competências reconhecemos e matéria de jornalismo digital no nosso país”.

Ele afirma que o JN é “das webs mais sólidas do país, ainda que nem sempre sejamos reconhecidos enquanto tal pelo mainstream.”

“É também a afirmação de uma equipa multidisplinar que aos poucos tem integrado na plataforma digital todos os jornalistas e outros recursos do JN.”

Na minha opinião, tem-se assistido a uma evolução no jornalismo multimédia em Portugal, mas é preciso fazer mais. Do que ouço, há erros estratégicos a serem cometidos em algumas redacções, que nomeiam gente que não percebe nada de internet para coordenadores de multimédia, há negligência nos conteúdos online em favorecimento do papel, e uma exigência de qualidade onde não há condições mínimas para o fazer. Mas isso não é jornalismo, são politiquices.

Mesmo assim, há quem tente. E esses terão sucesso. Digam o que pensam sobre estes trabalhos nos comentários.

Changes 3: New column | Mudanças 3: Coluna nova

Logótipo Rascunho

And in the latest instalment for changes around here, i’d like to announce that yesterday i started my column dedicated to new media at Rascunho.IOL.pt. I am honored for the invitation they made and hope to provide a few interesting insights about the Media Revolution.

The title for this weekly reflection is “Media DJ”, and the English version will be available in my (new) blog, becoming somehow an extension of my work.

Below is the first text for Media DJ.

E no mais recente capítulo dedicado a mudanças por aqui, gostaria de anunciar que ontem iniciei a minha coluna/caderno sobre novos media no Rascunho.IOL.pt. Estou honrado pelo convite que me fizeram e espero dar algumas visões pessoais interessantes sobre a Revolução dos Media.

O título para esta reflexão semanal é “Media DJ”, e a versão em inglês estará sempre disponível no meu (novo) blog, sendo uma extensão do meu trabalho.

Leiam o primeiro texto, no Rascunho.


Imagine a stage, and you’re sitting in the audience. From up there, one or several characters proclaim the news of the day, the events they chose as the most important. They do it at a certain time, in a ritualized fashion and within a specific duration.They ignore your reactions, and aren’t quite interested in you but in how many of you are watching them. This was the paradigm for the relationship between audience and media. Then came the Internet and everything changed.

Today, the stage and the audience share the same space, there are several voices for many subjects, each one with its own perspective and different origins; information flows within that space between all the elements, from media to users, to other users, to other media. The keywords for this new model are sharing, dialogue, mobility/ubiquity and real time. Contents are made of layers, a new contribution or production is built over the previous one. And everyone can participate: with text, photos, video.

The information industry and journalism are going through the biggest revolution they’ve ever  gone through. The content creation and dissemination tools evolved rapidly, and more important, they are availabe to anyone. The audience became an active element in the creation and disseminaton of information. In a matter of years we went from static versions of newspapers to multimedia rich content, real time information provided by users in social networks and on Twitter, anywhere, to everywhere, which deviated the media from the center of the news paradigm, forcing them to reconsider how to interact with their users, how to work information on the web, publish it, renew it, in a profound change of processes and views. And also how to make that profitable.

The name of this column is Media DJ, because all these changes influenced journalist’s work, demanding new skills. DJ has a double meaning, being the first, the one who, from other people’s music, mixes, remixes, aligns and generates a new dynamic, turning the whole bigger than the sum of its parts; and it also works for Digital Journalism/Journalist. Information DJs do exactly the same as music DJs, they pick up the pieces and generate a a new set, but with a totally different responsibility: they contribute to the creation of a collective conscience, and a well informed society will make better choices. In the end, nothing changed in the fundamental role of journalism, just the way you do it.

Every week i hope to bring a part of that (r)evolution, that is unfolding faster than reality can keep up. You just have to follow the music.

Below is the first text for Media DJ.

Download: Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency

It’s a no-brainer: when Mindy MacAdams says she got 15 of her posts together in a pdf so we can improve our journo-fu, we download it. HERE.

Não é complicado: quando a Mindy MacAdams diz que juntou 15 posts seus num pdf para que possamos melhorar o nosso kung fu jornalístico, fazemos logo o download. AQUI.

Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency (PDF; 536 KB)