In class we’ve been looking at the way stories are told through different mediums. Some stories are conveyed better through pictures than video; some stories require an information graphic to help break down the content. Our assignment was to compare two separate stories from two different news outlets on the way they use the multimedia and layered approach to storytelling.
I chose to stay within the same topic of stories to help better compare the two. I used this story from CBS News and this story from NBC News. Both articles detail the shooting of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle who was murdered last week at a Texas shooting range by a former Marine with a mental illness. The CBS article was focused on the fact that the shooter, Eddie Routh, was formerly in a mental institution. The NBC article is focused on the fact that Kyle was pursuing his passion when he was murdered, more of a general overview of the situation.
The CBS article used mainly print as a medium with two photos and links to videos on the page. I liked that they represented Kyle with his gun in the photo, but did not appreciate seeing the killer first thing when I clicked to read the article. I also think the content of the article was more objective in telling the story. It was not very detailed with other people’s perspectives; it just had the typical police officer comment and a few other quotes. The videos could have been embedded into the story instead of taking you away from the article. I did appreciate that they chose print more than video because I think the video as a main medium would not be appropriate for this story.
The NBC article is almost the exact opposite of the CBS article. The main mediums were print and video. They did not include any photographs whatsoever. The print in the article was more detailed and had multiple perspectives from people who knew Kyle and could give insight into his personality. The article had videos directly in the article for consumers to watch, which I think was their downfall. Crime stories, in my opinion, have no business being represented by videos. There’s nothing that needs to be seen in detail through that medium. I think print is the best way to report on crime; it keeps the consumer safe from unwanted images.
The NBC website was not very easy to navigate. The homepage is jam-packed with as many news stories and links that they could fit. The stories are not organized very well in lists or patterns; they seem to be stuck wherever they would fit. It’s difficult to see what is the main headline and what is not. The columns are uneven and not visually appealing. The NBC website was not easy to navigate. I was linked to multiple videos and advertisements before I found the actual content.
The CBS website was very simplistic. The main story was bigger than the rest and in a central location. Secondary stories are listed in smaller columns to the side and underneath the headlines. The CBS website was very navigable. I easily found the story I wanted to use. I think CBS pulled off this story better than NBC.