the kdmcinfo weblog

Video Vs Photo Slideshow

A lot of news organizations are debating whether it's better to shoot lots of video for their web sites or focus instead on using a camera and audio recorder to produce photo slideshows.

The answer we give in our multimedia workshops is simple - let the story tell you the medium in which it's best told.

What we mean is that some stories, or parts of a larger story, naturally lend themselves to video (such as stories with a lot of action), while others are better suited for photo slideshows (such as stories that are very emotional), and still others can best be told with a graphic (such as stories with a lot of numbers or data in them), and still others should be told in text (such as stories about the pros and cons of an issue).

The Storyboarding section of our tutorial on Multimedia Storytelling describes this in more detail (scroll to the section that begins "Next, divide the contents of the story among the media...")

Regina McCombs, a multimedia producer at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, has a similar list of different types of media and the kinds of stories for which they're best suited (thanks to Mindy McAdams for posting Regina's list).

So don't get bogged down in discussions about whether you should be doing more video to drive traffic to your news site, or whether photo slideshows are the key to more page views.

Instead think about the medium that can best tell the kind of story you're reporting. That will best serve your readers and viewers, and usage of your website will follow.