News Track 9

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/12/01/science-adolescence-steinberg

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It’s clear that WBUR excels at adapting the classic audio report into a full-blown, web-friendly multimedia piece that expands its audience greatly. The above images are screenshots of an article that again demonstrates the seamless embedding of an audio file into a multimedia story. This audio report features an interview with an author on the midday news program “Here & Now.” Considering that a midday radio program might not be highly popular, WBUR adapts the content of this audio report and makes it accessible for someone to read or listen online.

One of the best parts about the written portions is that it offers interview highlights. This is a really effective tool because readers might be more interested in scanning a short summary of an interview rather than listening to the fifteen minute interview. It pulls important topics and quotes from the interview that offer a quick insight into the main ideas of the interview so it allows readers to consume the information without committing a full fifteen minutes to listening to the audio interview.

This article also includes a pretty extensive excerpt from the book, authored by the guest, Larry Steinberg, who was interviewed on the radio program. This is a unique element to this article but I think it is a great addition to the multimedia piece because the interview draws attention to this book and might pique reader or listener interest in reading the book. Providing this book excerpt allows readers to get a taste of the book but it also creates the perception that WBUR has exclusive access/content, and it might keep readers on their page longer.

Overall, WBUR is a great example of a classic radio program adapting their ways and techniques to keep up with the everchanging face of journalism and media.

Each article is typically presented with a photo and a headline, which is very visually appealing. For the more complex subjects, the homepage includes the article’s headline, a photograph, a description, and a few links to related articles. Everything is very clickable and easy-to-access. On the right side of the page, there is a sidebar with information about the weather, the stocks, and a list of “Most Popular.” The way it’s laid out is almost like a blog. I’m not a huge fan of the bottom part of their homepage because it gets very wordy, but I imagine that not many people scroll to that point. It still looks clean and not cluttered.

As for their articles, most of them include some sort of audio report either at the top of the page or embedded in the article. Because WBUR is a radio station, their audio reports are usually done very well, and I’m impressed at how well-done their accompanying written articles and online presence is as a news organization.

WBUR also does a great job of finding the local angle on national and international stories. They are always covering important and relevant news. When you click the “News” tab at the top,  the page layout changes so that readers can see more information about particular articles.
WBUR excels at providing a plethora of different kinds of multimedia coverage. They have the advantage of high-quality audio reporting that is paired well with written and visual coverage. They don’t really branch out much from their typical story layout which usually includes an audio report, a photo and some embedded links, but occasionally there will be a slideshow or an interactive map. I think the simplicity is effective and very accessible for all kinds of readers.

News Track 8

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/11/10/remembering-berlin-wall

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Once again, WBUR proves itself as a master of multimedia and convergence journalism. The article is topped with a fantastically produced audio report with several personal interviews. The article is almost exactly a transcript of the audio report, but listening to the audio report has its advantages. Just below the audio report is a slideshow of photos from the ceremony to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall. The slideshow is incredibly impactful on its own, but when paired with the audio report, the impact of the voices and the interviews as well as the emotional images of the ceremony increased greatly. I think this is how the story was intended to be experienced because the audio appeals to a different emotion than the photos. The photos show the scenes of Germany now while the audio refers to a time of the past. The story itself is incredibly emotional and WBUR handles it and presents it well.

WBUR also does a great job of embedding photos throughout the story to maintain the visual appeal of the story. I didn’t think that all the images in the slideshow or in the article were the strongest images, but it maintained the flow of the story to have a large amount of photos. WBUR also used a pull-out quote which helped break up the written story and make it more visually appealing. There are no links embedded, which I think could have enhanced the story due to its complexity. However, because the article is simply a written transcript of the audio report it might have been difficult to include or embed relevant links.

News Track 7

http://www.wbur.org/npr/361528166/fight-for-the-senate-republicans-oust-pryor-mcconnell-wins

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 12.53.16 AMWBUR was active in their coverage of the elections, demonstrated in their multiple updates of the article “Fight For The Senate: Republicans Take Control, Adding 7 Seats.” When presented on their homepage (as seen above), the article is packaged together with a photo and links to several other articles that readers might be interested in. I found the photo to be misleading because the photo included in the article was different than the photo used on the homepage of WBUR. The homepage photo looked more like a generic photo while the photo in the article was a photograph of Mitch McConnell after his victory.

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This photo was more relevant than the generic photo on the homepage but the generic photo was effective in getting me to click on the article (I was actually drawn to the article because of that photo but was surprised to find that they weren’t the same photo!) This technique could be effective for sites to use so that they can showcase a greater variety of photographs as well as draw readers into articles, and I think WBUR does this effectively. This article is done well and it matches the pace of the content: it shows that the article was updated frequently based on the constantly changing information that comes in on Election Day.

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This method of providing information was highly effective and kept readers with the most up-to-date information. The content was simple, short and concise, written in nearly-tweetable tidbits. There were only a few links embedded, but it was effective because this article is more about getting the most information in one spot, and WBUR carries that out effectively.