It’s been awhile since I’ve worked at a newspaper (OK, 25 years) but for the last ten days I’ve been installed at the interactive media department at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, working on a multimedia documentary about the Democratic National Convention.
Our project, “At last, At last, a dream fulfilled,” launched 36 hours after Barack Obama gave his speech to 84,000 at Invesco Stadium (and 40,000,000 more who watched on TV). It’s drawn mostly from the work of photographers and videographers at the paper, plus my colleagues Tim McLaughlin, Robert Browman and Brian Storm at MediaStorm. We all juggled many tasks. I did most of the staff training, lit the interviews and had the pleasure to conduct one of them, edited audio, video and pictures and made the first cut of the piece.
Newspapers have changed. Now staff reporters post to blogs and they all Twittered during the convention as well as writing several stories for the paper and web each day. Most photographers shoot stills and video and staff editors who used to process images now edit video. The Rocky has made a huge push into multimedia (and I hear they’re quite late in this effort) with the web being the primary focus of the morning news meeting.
It was an amazing experience, fueled by strong coffee, little sleep and incredible hospitality.
(Poynter.org, the Journalism Institute, has a nice story by Steve Meyers about this project under their “Best Practices: Learn from Exemplary Journalism” section.