My Multimedia Examples

This post just contains some links to my own work at The Ledger. Most of it will be in Flash, because we haven’t begun using HTML5 yet and our main multimedia platform for the first two years of my current job (Storymaker by Brightcove) was recently discontinued. However, I am proficient in Soundslides, Audacity and FinalCut.

Polk Snow Day | Jan. 5, 2010

There’s no doubt that one way to get a Central Florida newspaper reader’s attention is to tell them that there’s a possibility of snow in their area. When the Weather Channel predicted snow for the Polk County area, we quickly created an interactive that helped old-time readers reminisce about the last time it snowed in Polk County. Polk Snow Day, despite its simplicity, is the top-viewed Flash on The Ledger’s website with 23,000 page views.

Paul Beasley Johnson Timeline | Jan. 14, 2010

When you have breaking news on an ongoing story, a simple timeline of events can help readers understand the depth of the story, even if they’re discovering the subject for the first time. This helps save precious words in articles, where reporters don’t have to rehash every event that’s happened up until this point and gives a quick peek at the background information we need. The best thing about this very simple timeline is that it takes less than five minutes to update, upload and link a new version.

A Web of Businesses | Jan. 26, 2010

A murdered lottery winner. Millions of dollars transferred to the murder suspect just months before. Fake names, multiple addresses and curious personal relationships. When a story becomes so convoluted that it’s hard for even the reporters to keep the facts straight, it’s time to make a chart that illustrates just how far the rabbit hole goes, and that’s what we created with this interactive that shows how people connected with Abraham Shakespeare were connected with each other in more ways than one might initially think.

A Land Remembered | Jan. 30, 2010

A Soundslides presentation with local historian James Denham reading a passage from “A Land Remembered.”

Haiti: Dust, Hunger and Pain | March 4, 2010

Ledger reporter Cary McMullen and photographer Cindy Skop spent four days in Haiti after the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake. But the photographs and videos documenting the local aid workers they traveled with and people they met were so numerous that it was impossible to include them all in the newspaper, and a photo gallery didn’t seem to do the images justice. So we built a web portal to see firsthand into the devastation.

2010 Wine Festival | March 23, 2010

This presentation was more of a graphic than anything else, except that readers could purchase tickets and see a list of wine that would be at each booth directly from a self-contained graphic. The information was more important than any interactive functionality because we wanted readers to get everything they needed as quickly as possible.

Robin Hood: The Story Continues | April 20, 2010

This interactive was interesting because the editor who spearheaded the project had several pieces that he wanted online (included a story, several sidebars and a timeline of Robin Hoods). In order to keep the page flowing and create the presentation within the time period given, we decided to integrate the interactive elements within the flow of an article. A YouTube video was found to accompany the editor’s fond memories of “The Adventures of Robin Hood” theme song and a quick Flash timeline was made to better encompass that information.

Hottest Rays | July 26, 2010

Combining both interactivity and user feedback was this info-tainment poll that took a familiar subject (Rays baseball players) and geared toward a different demographic (those who think said baseball players are attractive). Mike Cobb, our multimedia sports coordinator, was a great sport — he helped us find the information we wanted to provide to the voters. Surprisingly, this project didn’t do very well in page views — maybe we just couldn’t narrow in on the right demographic, but it was very popular amongst the ladies in the newsroom!

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