Teaching the newspaper new tricks

In a post at the Technolo-J blog, Ron Sylvester of The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle explains how the paper took advantage of online media and digital reporting techniques to cover an important murder trial.

Multimedia is not just about adding a video or audio. It’s about an experience, using a variety of media parts to make a whole story. …

During the trial, I would provide live updates, using my T-Mobile Dash with a Bluetooth keyboard, sending it back to [a senior Web producer] using my Yahoo! e-mail account.

In addition to impressing [special agents of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation], it works better than a laptop. It’s so small, I can put everything in my pockets, if I want. I can turn off all the sounds, so the phone doesn’t even vibrate. Judges love it, because it’s not as big as a laptop.

There’s a lot of really cool detail in this report about how Ron worked with the photojournalists on the scene and how he sent court documents back to the newsroom, an hour’s drive away, while he was still in the courtroom.

This is the kind of post we need to make required reading for today’s journalism students.

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