The difference between a multimedia story and a traditional one

I found an interesting and complex story about  the Mexican drug war both in a traditional format http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/16/world/americas/16mexico.html and in a really cool multimedia format http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/world/2009-mexican-cartel/index.html?ref=multimedia.

The difference between the two stories is striking. The print version is pretty mundane and reads like a normal newspaper story, thereby immediately making me tune out and stop caring. It’s not that the content is uninteresting, in fact I find it very interesting, but the multimedia package seems to drive the story in a way that forces me to pay attention.

So how does this multimedia package do this? I think its main advantage is giving me information in a way that helps me digest it quikly. The tradtional story has a picture and  a little map but, the multimedia one has text, video, stills, animaion, maps, and an easy to follow timeline describing each section. Therefor if, as we discussed, “a picture is worth a thousand words” the multimedia package give me a lot more information in 9 minutes then I could get from spending the same amount of time just reading the story.

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2 Comments

Filed under Ian Summers

2 responses to “The difference between a multimedia story and a traditional one

  1. The examples I found are from the New York Times as well but the few that I looked at didn’t have any video. I guess they like to switch it up a bit every now and then.

  2. jordanbergstrom

    I agree! I think the multimedia piece is way better than the written. Interesting story.

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