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Teaching Online Journalism

Sharing the passion of journalism

On Tuesday I had a pair of guest speakers — Melissa Lyttle (photojournalist) and Lane DeGregory (reporter) — talk about how they reported The Girl in the Window for the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times. My course is Reporting and Writing for Online Media (syllabus here), but I told our guests I wanted them to focus on the reporting process and the working relationship between the two of them — not the tools.

I couldn’t have found two better exemplars of quality reporting practices. Poynter interviewed both Lane and Melissa and wrote about this story a few days after it ran in August 2008, so I won’t recap everything the two said. But I’d like to list a few of the things I learned from listening to them:

The result is one of the best multimedia packages of 2008, without a doubt, and I would say one of the tightest and best edited multimedia STORIES ever. (I have to add that when I went to the text story after viewing and listening to all the multimedia, I actually read it to the end. Now, THAT’S some fine writing!)

And guess what? It has received more than 1 million pageviews since it was first published two months ago.

Quality journalism can attract an audience, even today. Count on it.


Categories: examples, multimedia, reporting, storytelling


4 Comments

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  2. Bryan Murley says:

    “I don’t use a recorder. I write everything down.”

    This is a needless dichotomy of a statement. Why can’t one do both. I am always amazed at how reporters can trust their ability to write notes that are so accurate.

    I should do an experiment sometime. Maybe it would show an incredibly high level of accuracy based only on note-taking, but with the availability of cheap and easy ways to make sure you are accurate, I can’t believe reporters wouldn’t avail themselves of the opportunity.

  3. Mindy says:

    @Bryan – I often take written notes only. Why record at a speech or a public meeting? Now, a one-on-one interview … that I’m likely to record. It gives me more freedom to make eye contact and listen more fully.

  4. [...] Online Journalism: Ms. McAdams points out that good multimedia storytelling depends on hardcore reporting.  Print This Post |  Email This Post | [...]

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