Nov 20, 2008

The New Yorker's Multimedia: Photojournalists Eating on the Road

Compared to most newspapers, magazines have been slower to enhance their web product by adding multimedia, but now even The New Yorker has regular online multimedia features.

Check out this multimedia feature of photojournalists showing their images of and talking about some of the strangest meals they've eaten while on assignment around the world. It's very simple. But brilliant all the same.

What The New Yorker and other magazines (like The Atlantic with its podcasts and videos) have done is put a lot of thought into what stories would really lend themselves to multimedia. Too many newspapers have fallen into the rut of adding multimedia just for the cache, demanding their photographers or reporters produce web video more because it makes the newspaper look like it's on the cutting edge, rather than because it's the best way to tell that particular story.

The problem with this mentality, in my opinion, is that you end up with a lot of garbage.

Since the world online is already cluttered, doesn't it make more sense to increase the quality rather than the quantity? Or at least to really consider the questions: What kind of multimedia would enhance this particular story? What can we do with multimedia that we couldn't do with text and still images?

That's what I love about this week's audio slideshow from The New Yorker. It's not rocket science: A handful of photos thrown into a slideshow with audio of the photographers talking about the images in the style of sort of a photographer's notebook. (Here's a post on how to do it yourself.) But this piece was a perfect feature for The New Yorker's food issue. It makes sense and it's captivating.


Mark Brown said...

That is really good. I love the photographers' stories - the disparate elements make a greater whole. But I would have liked more photographs!

Zack Barnett said...

Thanks for highlighting this. I might disagree with you a little on it, though. Why do you say "simple but brilliant?" I think it is brilliant in its simplicity.

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