You’ve got the power

This week in class, Shane showed us this video from the Dallas Morning news called “Choosing Thomas.” It is about a couple that has only a short time with their infant son due to birth defects.
It was an incredibly powerful 9 minutes and our class was speechless when Shane asked us what our thoughts were on it. This grouping of stills, audio, text and video pulled me into the story, however cliche that sounds. It didn’t feel like some of the multimedia journalism I had seem before because of just that: it had way more feeling and power. It wasn’t just telling me what I needed to know, it was welcoming me to experience it firsthand.

Shane then showed us a something he had made and posted on vimeo. It was the story of a pregnancy with his wife that ended in a miscarriage. This was equally as powerful, especially since the story was even more alive to me with Shane being in the room.

Multimedia journalism has always seemed so flashy and lacking substance to me. But these, these videos have changed my mind. It really has some power. Coming at someone from all angles (text, audio, stills, video) really recreates what real life is like and how our senses are always getting pulled in a million different directions. But, if you can use all those sense in differing ways for one main point, that’s when you really have a captivating story. That is when there is power to change mindsets, create ideas, challenge thoughts, or even reinforce current beliefs.

Heck, you can see the power of how women and feminists have felt about Robin Thicke’s controversial video and the implications it has. The original music video had enough power to stir up controversy and a slew of parodies. There is always a good and bad side to power. Using it in a way to exploit women is using the power of multimedia in a bad way, but yet it is all too common in today’s world.

Even though I am a Magazine Writing kind of girl, I appreciate and respect the amount of power that can come with multimedia pieces. But, like any source of power, it has to be checked to make sure that it isn’t misleading or unethical. The goal of journalism is to convey truth in a way that causes the least harm. I hope I have the power some day with my journalism to move people to tears, to laughs, to action and everything in-between.


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