Advanced Online Media – Audio Slideshows

One thing we’re going to look at today is audio slideshows. Some of you may end up doing slideshows for your individual projects on this module. Slideshows are everywhere online these days. The audio slideshow, in particular, is a really interesting storytelling form, one that seems native to the web in some way.

It’s pretty easy to put a few pics together and call it a slideshow. It’s harder to do something where the images and audio work together to really explore a journalistic idea or story.

We’re going to talk a bit about today about how to do them well. Later on in the module, if you decide you want to do some sort of slideshow, there will be some specific workshops looking at photojournalism, tools you can use to create slideshows and audio features and storytelling.

In the meantime, here’s a few examples to look at in class:

Water Dance from the New York Times

One in 8 Million, also from the NYT (we looked at this one last year). There are loads of different slideshows here, all of them excellent.

The Month in Photography from The Observer’s New Review

The Guardian actually has a whole section on its website devoted to audio slideshows. As does the FT – though their stuff is behind a paywall. The LA Times’ pop.u.LA.tion also has a few good slideshows. And you can find some of the New York Times’ current work in their Multimedia/Photos section.

The Guardian’s more recent stuff looks a bit rushed – as if they don’t always have the resources to do it well. But it’s still worth looking around at what they’ve done recently. I quite like this one about Japan’s Nozawa fire festival.

Here’s a few of The Guardian’s older pieces – for example, from last year a profile of the artist Jeremy Deller and of Cyra, a young teenager who’s spent her life in care.

A couple of years ago, The Guardian ran a slideshow about the recent Alexander McQueen menswear show, which goes for a more ambient approach.

Another example from a while bac in The Guardian – To Obama, with love from… This has no sound but uses captions to create a kind of list feature.

The Atlantic has a really good example of kind of slideshow journalism – Twitter from @A to @Z – there’s no audio here but it shows how to combine slideshows with a story. It followed it up with more of the same – Twitter from @0 to @9.

Finally – back to more traditional audio slideshow fare – One School’s Struggles – from The Washington Post -this feels like a mini-documentary.

There’s lots of good advice online about making slideshows. 10,000 Words has some really useful posts on audio slideshows – for example, a guide to five mistakes to avoid. Digital journalism teacher Mu Lin has some good advice on his blog (which is a really excellent resource) – for example look at his general tips on making an audio slideshow and his advice on shooting photos for a slideshow. I’ll post more links to useful advice later in the module.


Kevin Kelly on the future of the digital media landscape

Here’s a short lecture from Kevin Kelly on six verbs that sum up the future direction of the net.

Kevin Kelly: The Future of the Digital Media Landscape from WIRED and The Economist on

Advanced Online Media – Session 1 – Links

Here’s a few links we can use in class today:

A couple of old radio links that still might be interesting:

Advanced Online Media – Session 1 – Things to do

We need to sort out various things today:

  • Set up a new blog to use on the module – or sort out an old one
  • Set up Google Reader so that you can use it to tracks news in the areas you’re interested in
  • Set up Twitter so that you use it effectively to stay on top of news and new ideas in your areas. Remember – the best approach is to follow a lot of people and use lists so you can quickly get to the people you value most
  • Set up an account with Delicious and start bookmarking interesting sites – use the tag aomedia2013 to share what you find with the rest of the class. If you find something interesting, tweet it using the hashtage #aomedia2013 so that the rest of the class can see it too

To get us started, perhaps we should work on putting together a list of recent big online media/tech stories, share them via Twitter and Delicious with the rest of the class and then record what you find – with links to sources – on your blogs.