Introduction (Medium is the message)

Fri, Jan 22, 2016

Readings

Assignment

Each student should find an example of a compelling story that could have been better suited for a different medium. i.e. a radio story that desperately needs a visual element, a video clip that tries to explain complex subject matter or is superficial, a long text story that would have made a better video or audio piece, a graphic that really shouldn't exist or doesn't convey anything new by being a graphic.

Marshal McLuhan

A quick motion graphics explainer that sums up McLuhan’s “medium is the message” in a visually engaging way.

Below, a more in-depth series based on an interview McLuhan did in 1977.

Be sure to also watch Parts 2 and Part 3.

And lastly, read this 2000 article from New York Times on what became of Marshall McLuhan after his passing.

Looking at examples of News Packages

We’ve created a page amassing a large number of online news packages for students to analyze. There are over 1000 news packages listed on this site. As we go through the different approaches to displaying multimedia stories, it’s important to spend a significant amount of time looking at these examples to dissect and understand their nature. Most importantly, you should consider the following:

  • What is the first immediate impression of the overall design?
  • How effective is the information hierarchy, understanding what the story is about immediately, and does it engage you to dive in deeper?
  • does the story design aid in pulling you further into the story, or does it exist for its own sake?
  • do the media forms (i.e. video, photo, graphics, text) fit the various story components and tell those parts of the story well?
  • are the various story components the appropriate length given the medium used to consume the story?

See Examples of Online News Packages