Media Analysis: Multimedia Reporting Online

We know there was an earthquake in Chile yesterday, and it had a huge inpact on people there by reading newspaper articles. But the impact of the photo sometimes is more eloquent than one hundred words description. After I saw some photos in “Earthquake in Chile” of The New York Times, I found myself that the damage was more terrible than I imagined. Because of multimedia reporting, I’m sure that readers can understand the news more correctly and concretely.

Photo Courtesy The New York Times

Since I begun to subscribe The New York Times, the Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and any other newspapers in the United States, I found that these newspapers certainly have multimedia versions of reporting online. The multimedia reporting includes podcasts, photos, slideshows, and videos. These tools often make subscribers easier to understand the news.

Not only by reading texts in newspaper but also by using other senses such as sight or hearing, readers understandings of news may deepen. And I’d have to say that this aspects of newspaper in the U.S. is highly developed, compared to newspaper in Japan, my native country.

I also read some Japanese newspapers like Asahi Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun, and Mainichi Shimbun. These three newspapers are the biggest 3 in Japan. Expecting to see something like photo features of the earthquake in Chile, I read these 3 newspapers online. Although I could see some photos of the incident, those photos were all from Associated Press and Reuter. Only Mainichi Shimbun carry photo feature on its website. This is partly because there is long distance from Japan to Chile. Of course, The New York Times also used photos by these two wire services, but it also prepared their own photos by their own photographers. In addition, The New York Times combined photos from various sources to make features I mentioned above.

As I compared and contrasted these difference between newspapers in both coutries, I understood that multimedia versions of reporting in Japanese newspapers tremendously fall behind newspaper in U.S. At this time, I mentioned just the treatment of photos in newspapers, but I know there is almost no podcast and slideshow with audio in Japanese newspaper. Movies are sometimes uploaeded, but the quality is poor. Japanese newspaper still resort only to text in articles. Possibly, I would like to make change.

About seigaohtani

Seiga Ohtani is a public relations professional based in Tokyo, Japan.
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