Journalism: The Evolution

How do you define leadership? Not an easy question to answer. The Washington Post agreed, but took it upon themselves to answer it with their video series: “On Leadership.” Featuring candidates from all backgrounds discussing what the definition is to them.

American Ballet Theatre Prima Ballerina, Misty Copeland’s video was especially striking. Her definition of leadership is perseverance. As she dances across the stage, her voice provides the background music to how she was able to achieve the fludity in her movements that captivate audiences at every performance.

Misty Copeland’s perserverance, On Leadership Series

Words are impactful and inspiring, but visually watching the story unfold creates a powerful result that allows journalist to evoke emotions in their stories that print cannot support.

With this series the Post is not telling us what leadership is, they’re showing us.

The New York Times couldn’t let the Post have all the fun. The Times started their own series: “Op-Docs” to tell the tales of unique individuals. Curiosity is in our DNA. Video series hone in on that curious aspect and grab hold of it. It’s addicting.

The stories intice the viewer so much that one is not enough. For example, the Op-Doc: Summer’s Choice. She is a 20-year-old girl with incredible artistic abilities, but is faced with the decision to become the caretaker of her entire family or follow her dream and attend art school. The feeling of hope envelopes the mind as the viewer walks side-by-side with Summer through this challenging time.

That is the ultimate goal. After watching the video, The Times wanted the viewer to feel empathetic. The article portion of story becomes a mere summary. To find the intimate details, you have to watch the video. As a journalism student this excites me. My generation are the multimedia lovers. If we can watch instead of read, we will.

No longer is a journalist allowed to be good at one thing. Skills in video, photography and writing are necessary to report a story. The more media platforms a journalist can tell a story, the better. This will only increase as technology and social media advance. Hop on the bandwagon now.

There are 8 billion people in the world. These video series are allowing the “average Joe” to share their “not-so-average” stories that create a powerful result. It is as if they are right beside you talking like old friends.

The school year is almost over. My professor, Herbert Lowe, challenged each of us to choose a final project that forced us out of our comfort zone. It’s easy to write someone’s story for them, but why tell their story when they can tell it themselves. The class goal by the end of the semester is to do the best journalism of our lives. Three weeks left and I’m hopping on the bandwagon. Like Elle Woods once said about orange being the new pink, whoever said journalism is just words was seriously disturbed.

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