Wednesday Workshop: One Story, Many Platforms


One Story, Many Platforms

Presented in Collaboration with Columbia Journalism School and Its Continuing Education Program

August 21, 2013

This half-day session will focus on how to plan and execute stories that can be told across a variety of platforms, including the web and mobile, using the latest multimedia tools as well as open source tools available on the Internet. From text to video to interactive graphics, newsrooms are increasingly starting to produce articles combining these elements together to provide readers with rich, engaging storytelling.

In this workshop, we will look at some of the most successful and innovative multimedia projects, discuss their strengths and weaknesses and the tools used to build them. We will also take a step back and discuss conception: when do you decide a story needs several layers of multimedia elements, and how to do it all without distracting the readers and keeping the story grounded in solid reporting?

  • Where: Columbia Journalism School
  • When: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Course Outline

What is multimedia storytelling?
Multimedia storytelling is a combination of text, with one or more of the digital elements – photographs, video clips, audio, graphics and interactivity — presented as a package to a reader in which the digital elements included in the story are complementary and not repetitive.

The history of multimedia storytelling
The art of storytelling online has changed drastically in the last decade and a half. The organization of different digital elements within a multimedia package has also changed, partly due to the need for engaging readers within a single framework rather than offering them dozens of items and driving them away from the main story. We will take a look at some examples of how it was done, which will help us understand how it has evolved.

What makes a good multimedia package?
We will discuss the five key steps to producing a good multimedia package: reporting a story, planning the project, gathering the elements, editing content, publishing and distributing the package across various platforms.

One story, many structures
Unlike a traditional article in print, multimedia stories can use different structures. We will look at three specific examples: linear presentation, in which you as the reporter drive the narrative of the story with a clear opening, middle and an end; non-linear presentation, in which the audience, not you, decide how to experience the story; and webinside the web, in which a single serving Web site is built to enable readers to explore different facets of the story.

Case Study: Winning hearts and minds
Which multimedia projects won the audience? Which publications broke the rules? We will take a look two unique examples multimedia projects from the past year.

Deconstructing a multimedia story
How does a powerful multimedia story use video, photographs and audio to drive the narrative? We will take a look at the process of one a remarkable story — from what led to the idea to how it was executed.

Audience and Engagement
Everything you are producing is for the audience. If the last few years are any indication, audience behavior in how they consume content changes rapidly. We will discuss the best practices for engaging your readers, before and after the story is published, and sharing the published content in different platforms.

Training for multimedia storytelling
What kind of training is needed for reporters — both, for those who actually shoot and edit, and those who produce, package and promote it.

Tools and techniques
Yes, having a basic understanding of how coding works is enormously helpful in putting together a multimedia package these days. Beside the primary tools for multimedia, we will discuss what is readily availableonline and how we can implement those tools in our multimedia packages


Anup Kaphle
Digital Foreign Editor, The Washington Post
Anup Kaphle is the digital foreign editor at The Washington Post, where he oversees the Post’s world coverage on the web. He has reported from Afghanistan and Nepal, and his work has appeared in The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic and The Globe and Mail, among others. Anup has an M.S degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he won the Henry N. Taylor Award, given to the top international student.

  • What attendees should bring: Course materials will be provided.
  • What attendees will take away: Adaptable and applicable skills to make your voice heard from any platform.

Reserve your spot in this workshop.

Are you an AAJA member or Columbia University student, faculty or staff? You receive a $10 discount! Check your inbox for the promo code or email us.

Twitter: @aaja, #AAJAinteractive