Multimedia Journalism : Joe Weiss

Weblog for the advancement of multimedia storytelling. Compiled by Joe Weiss.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Wouldn't it be great...

So this Flickr site allows you to upload images, and easily organize them into galleries. It's interface is built in flash and resizes the photos for you.

And Blogger allows you to create a weblog and then quickly publish it to your own FTP site. It has built-in tools to help you edit and preview your work.

Wouldn't it be great if someone did this for multimedia journalism? You know, a site where you would upload an mp3 file and some jpgs and maybe even some b-roll video and then have a simple interface to organize them into a story without having to use a complicated tool. Like Flickr, it could manage sizing and encoding, and like Blogger it could manage the uploading and file organization.

It should probably have some common templates:
    text with single image and audio clip

    non-timed audio image gallery (like this nytimes.com piece)

    timed audio image gallery (like this cnn.com piece, or this ancient 2002 heraldsun.com daily piece, which was created with an intranet-based WYSIWYG flash tool I created for use at the Mountain Workshop in Cave City)

    a simple video gallery

Of course the final result would have to look great and stream correctly with high and low-band versions of the audio or video. It would need to be customizable too, so you could add your own name/credits/branding etc.

And be obsessively intuitive.

And easy to solicit re-edits of your work, so that you could benefit from all of those bright minds that don't live near you.

It could also aggregate all of the work produced, so folks could quickly find stories.

And wouldn't it be great if news organizations could agree to a simple common back-end markup (or publicize their preference) so the site could export to an easily re-published format, thus enabling the journalist to financially support their continued work. Should be easy enough since all we're talking about is textual timing/metadata (flash-encoded or XML) and the raw binary files.

Surely those sites would welcome the new folks in the field; they could see multimedia content from all over and have a reasonable expectation of the time commitment involved in reproducing the content on their site.

I know I'm oversimplifying it ...

But I wonder who would build something like this?