Tips and tricks to producing appealing multimedia stories.

By Nosipho Nyide

In a fast paced digital world, multimedia journalists have found innovative ways to attract the audiences to their stories. Several international journalists shared these tips at the 10th Global Investigative Journalism Conference. The panel included Susanne Reber an executive publisher at Reveal, award winning journalist from the National geographic, Bryan Christy and David Hidalgo from OjoPúblico.

Think like a designer

According to the speakers, the beginning stages of producing the perfect multimedia piece is to think like a designer and to choose a lead character. Christy made reference to his pieces where he had to choose a lead. “Pick your lead, it is either the camera is first or the camera follows,” said Christy. Traditionally the camera person would be behind the journalist, but nowadays Christy argues that the camera person must be in front.

Innovation is key

Innovation in multimedia story telling came up as another tip that investigative journalists have to use. Reber and her team at Reveal are constantly coming up with new ways of telling stories of people. She said these new ways of reporting helps bring stories to life. Her work includes using animation to tell a story about a young man who was in prison as they had limited access to the jail. Reber’s team has also started incorporating theatre to tell their investigative stories. A quote that both she and Hidalgo emphasized was that, “Innovation is not a tool but a way of thinking.” Swedish television reporter Evelina Nedlund sitting in the session, said these innovative tips that stood out the most for her.


To attract more views to your multimedia story, one needs to use appealing visuals. Christy showed examples of the quality of pictures one has to produce. Reber on the other hand uses polls and graphs to attract people to a story. Another way to do this is by giving people the space to give feedback or interact in stories because it makes it more attractive to audienes. “Make it fun and have the mind-set of wanting to try new things,” Reber said.

And finally, your work needs to be memorable. Your multimedia story needs to stick in people’s minds.

PHOTO: Journalists use multimedia to tell stories. Photo: Gypseenia Lion.