B2: One of the Best News Organizations Delivering Multimedia Packages


What does the Syrian war, Martin Shkreli’s recent pharmaceutical price gouging endeavour and 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa, Mexico have in common?  

They’re complicated issues causing massive impacts on the global community. Regarding multimedia packages covering these stories, few news organizations handle the complexities better than AJ+, the video/infographic branch of Al Jazeera.

AJ+ was launched about two years ago and the technology driven news platform has matured quickly. The videos gracefully blend live/prerecorded broadcasts, prosumer content, tweets, infographics, plus and deliver insightful, sometimes quirky, reports that are second to none.

The channel revisited the Ayotzinapa tragedy a year after students headed towards Mexico City to protest against college budget cuts never returned home. And, AJ+ produced multiple in-depth and informative videos, ranging between 1 and 5 minutes in length, on this particular story.

Using this engaging style of reporting could help my work at the Arizona Daily Star. For instance, when I cover the Tucson city council candidate debates simply writing text about civic issue rhetoric only appeals to people already invested in politics. But, if I created a multimedia package with still photos, tweet graphics that highlight the candidate’s platform along with colorful infographics passive readers could become interested or further involved.

Young reporters must plunge headlong into our digital nation and pioneer new, engaging, more playful platforms before professional journalists become yesterday’s news. And, AJ+ has created a picture perfect template for us to emulate.


B1: Project critique


“Anti-Hero’s ‘What’s Up Monkey?’ Is The Ultimate Skateboarding Tour Series”

Professional skateboarding teams tour often, with photographers in tow, and their skating along with intoxicated mayhem gets documented. Typically they shred skate parks, schools, city streets or anything they happen upon. Tour videos usually show 90 percent skating relegating 10 percent for general madness or good times.

Unless you ride for Anti-Hero.

The “What’s Up Monkey?” series has the Nor Cal boys supplying us with the opposite. Their B-roll footage is the focus, and you get some hammers intermediately.

The motley crew insists on reminding its viewers they are not fame-oriented. Fortunately, they accomplish this with unadulterated style, grace and joyful finesse. The crew has some of the gnarliest skaters in the industry who have not forgotten why they began. Skateboarding is supposed to be fun. And becoming a professional is the ultimate anti-job.

Conversely, the consequences of attempting professional tricks can be fatal. And the best in the business take those aforementioned leaps in strictly controlled environments.

But, by the day’s close the plywood superstars became outliers while playing.