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Welcome to the age of the multimedia journalist

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There was a time, not so long ago when writers would just write. News and magazine publications had a full support staff that included editors and copy editors, proofreaders and management.

multimedia journalist

Flickr: Temari 09

Photographers took photos, videographers shot video, graphic designers designed and, well — you get the picture.

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As advertising dollars have shrunk and traditional publications across the globe have tightened the purse strings, hundreds of thousands of industry professionals have found themselves without a job.

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Toss in the exploding digital media market that has transformed the way we receive information and we now have an entirely new breed of writer – the multimedia journalist. Multimedia journalists do much more than just write copy or investigate a story.

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Many now shoot and edit their own photos, whip out their smartphones for a quick video grab, create colorful graphics and text, tweet, blog and Facebook their words and images to a worldwide readership.

If it sounds exhausting, it is. But it can be done. Modern writers can check out the following tips for becoming a multimedia journalist:

Be willing to learn. If you are nervous about taking pics, then take a quick class or tutorial that will teach you how to position yourself and your camera for the best shot possible.

Toss out the rules. That’s because when it comes to social media, there are no hard-and-fast rules. Feel free to experiment with engaging and exciting your audience.

Become an avid fan. The best way to learn what other multimedia journalists is to follow them, read them and learn from them. Put in your own twist and have fun.

Be an innovative writer. Think of new and different ways to communicate information. Look for ways to create with a variety of media tools. Use your imagination. Don’t be afraid to tell your story with more than words.

Keep it simple. In case you haven’t noticed, nearly all copy is quick, short and streamlined these days. Strive to reach your reader with powerful, concise phrases and sentences.

Feel free to promote. Yes, promote yourself. Send your work around. Don’t be shy about sharing it via tweets and blogs and even in relevant online forums.

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at EducatedWriter.com and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at kerrismabee.com.

Kerri S. Mabee

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