Mixture of photo and video lends well to mobile news gathering

A mixture of photo and video will work well for mobile news gathering or digital storytelling in general – a photo slideshow doesn’t have to be all-photo, and a video doesn’t have to be all-video.

Using photos as b-rolls has been a common practice in video production, but mixing video in a photo slideshow is not yet common. Here’s a sample video that mixes videos in a photo slideshow – it is about a high school quiz bowl team practice for an upcoming competition.

Although this particular project might not be recorded on a mobile device, the practice and concept, in my view, would work well for a mobile journalism project – a smartphone can take both photos and videos, and a mobile journalist should take enough of each for use in a digital project.

Sometimes, a photo can freeze a particular moment or expression which would otherwise be lost or mitigated in video. Here is a video project that uses a few photos, and I feel that the photos will not work equally well if they were in video. For instance – a closeup of feet of a student working on a poster, and another shot of a guard outside a meeting room where school administrators were having a meeting and students were protesting outside.


The video (embedded below) is about a student organization advocating for wind, solar and renewable energy at Missouri University. This video and the previous video were both made by Columbia Missourian, a community news organization directed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students. Mixing photos and videos is a technique used in many of the videos and photo slideshows they produced. They have a Youtube channel for their multimedia works.

About Mu Lin

Dr. Mu Lin is a digital journalism professional and educator in New Jersey, United States. Dr. Lin manages an online marketing company. He also manages MulinBlog Online J-School (www.mulinblog.com/mooc), a free online journalism training program, which offers courses such as Audio Slideshow Storytelling; Introduction to Social Media Marketing; Writing for the Web; Google Mapping for Communicators; Introduction to Data Visualization; Introduction to Web Metrics and Google Analytics.
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One Response to Mixture of photo and video lends well to mobile news gathering

  1. Wynette Yao says:

    Hi, Prof. Lin–I found out about your Analytics MOOC too late, but I look forward to learning a great deal from your website & blogs. I’m a documentary filmmaker who worked for broadcast for many years, but am now working on digital platforms. It’s fun, and there’s lots to learn!

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