MULTIMEDIA PRACTICES IN VISUAL STORYTELLING – A PIONEERING STUDY

World Press Photo is proud to publish the results of a pioneering global study into the emergence and development of multimedia in visual storytelling. The findings will be presented by research director Dr. David Campbell, as part of a multimedia-themed program during the 2013 World Press Photo Awards Days, on Thursday 25 April, at Felix Meritis in Amsterdam. The full report ‘Visual Storytelling in the Age of Post-Industrial Journalism’ is downloadable on the World Press Photo website. The research was conducted under the auspices of the World Press Photo Academy, supported by the FotografenFederatie (Dutch Photographers’ Association).

Visual storytelling, including photojournalism in multimedia formats, is benefitting greatly from the digital revolution and the explosion of online publication platforms. But as the global media economy is undergoing profound transformations, producing and distributing multimedia stories poses great challenges to the makers.

Dr. Campbell says: “We now live in a new media economy and the way we get information has fundamentally changed. Getting to a story to your audience requires a deep understanding of the global trends that affect the production, distributions and consumption of content. These developments are so profound it no longer makes sense to talk of “the traditional media” as a distinct category. How individuals adapt their practice to these new realities is a personal choice. No one is arguing all print production has become obsolete or that video is the only future. Knowing what is possible, and then deciding on the right tools and platforms for the story, is the key. But everybody involved in storytelling needs to grapple with what these changes mean for them.”

The project started with the premise that the global media economy is being disrupted, as evident in the declining circulation of established newspapers and magazines while audiences for online platforms and digital formats are growing. In this context, photojournalists are experimenting with multimedia formats, combining images, sound, and text, and a number of recent productions have shown great innovation. However, the study found that the majority of multimedia packages are currently produced by in-house teams from established media organizations, and the market for freelancers and independent producers is small.

These issues were examined in a comparative study looking at multimedia trends in three parts of the world: the USA, Europe, and China. The study focuses on how multimedia is produced, financed and published, as well as how audiences are consuming it. The research used data on multimedia research and the new media economy from academics and research organizations, as well as reports from the media and the photojournalism community. Three research seminars with invited participants were held in Amsterdam, New York City and Guangzhou, and questionnaires were distributed to 25 international media companies asking for their assessment of the current state of the field.

A project overview, a description of the methodology and an executive summary are enclosed in the attachment. The full research report can be downloaded as PDF document from the World Press Photo website. The publication is accompanied by a six-part series of video conversations with some of today's leading multimedia producers, who offer their own personal insights into the practice. The videos can also be viewed on the World Press Photo website. Please go to: www.worldpressphoto.org/multimedia-research

More information about David Campbell is available at http://www.david-campbell.org/bio/

 

World Press Photo receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon.

About World Press Photo

World Press Photo organizes the leading international contest in visual journalism. The foundation is committed to supporting and advancing high standards in photojournalism and documentary storytelling worldwide. Its aim is to generate wide public interest in and appreciation for the work of photographers and other visual journalists, and for the free exchange of information. The activities include organizing annual photojournalism and multimedia contests and global exhibition tours. The Academy programs strive to stimulate high-quality visual journalism through educational programs, grants and by creating greater visibility through a variety of publications. World Press Photo is an independent, non-profit organization with its office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where it was founded in 1955.

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The press department at World Press Photo, or tel. +31(0)20 676 6096.

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Highlights

Multimedia Research Project

Read Dr. David Campbell's full report and see a 5-part video series