Tell Stories with Audio and Video

How do audio and video contribute to the overall interest of a story and multimedia piece an author is conveying?

What medium is used to tell the story?

Does it support the interest and impact a person’s impression has, on the story?


In Bear 71, an online interactive documentary wonderfully put together to tell a story that was both dramatic and powerful. As a multimedia designer, I was extremely impressed with how well they fully engaged me to the story right from the first step. The introduction that looked exactly like a beginning to a television documentary with the transition to the interaction was crucial. The interactive experience on the website controlling with the keyboard and mouse put me in a first-person perspective mindset and allowed me to fully embrace all elements of the story fully. Their bases were covered including background sound, narrated audio, effects, text, and video elements were crystal clear that felt fitting and balanced whenever necessary for the project. The story of grizzly bears and wildlife in Banff National Park being impacted by society’s technology and railway advancement really made me start to wonder deeply about our world and how it has such an impact on all life around us. Some elements I would include if I were to work on this would be adding more ways to interact such as polls and quizzes to get me to learn more about the information. This project inspires me to play more with typography, background sound, and effects to be placed into our project. These elements when combined successfully will help us a lot to understand how to grab an audience’s attention and interest.


In The Russia Left Behind by The New York Times, an interactive article has some elements that make it stand out. An interactive map on the side of the screen represents a timeline of events in the story and was interesting to see the events that took place on a journey in Russia. I felt that this article was much too long to read and full of text, there should have been more elements of parallax scrolling and interaction throughout the entire article instead of using it only in the first section. The chunking or grouping of information into separate areas would have helped tremendously to section the information and make it tangible for people to read. The downsides to this article are that there are no embedded audio elements and all elements are external, meaning that it is separate from the website. This makes it seem like the story is disconnecting and doesn’t create as large an impact as it could be. The small interactive elements that this article includes are useful to consider for our group project in Advanced Topics in Multimedia on the Bike to Work Ottawa initiative such as the timeline and embedded multimedia.

Overall, I was neither impressed nor interested in reading The Russia Left Behind article as much as I was engaged by the Bear 71 documentary where they fully engage you and the experience is intimate and powerful. What is important in creating a successful story and multimedia piece and conveying it is keeping interest. I recognized the passion and effort the authors and designers put into it. Bear 71 did that for me and make an impact that was powerful enough that encouraged me to wanting to learn more!

Media Sources and their Impact

First off, where exactly do you obtain news media information on a regular basis? Do you search for news online, television, or the newspaper? Do you believe that each type of media source can have a large impact on your impression, your absorption of the information, and interest? I agree with the statement and I’d like to express my opinions and feeling about how each media affects our impression and impact upon reading.


Take a look at an example, Ottawa Citizen, a local newspaper based in the Ottawa area, which reports on articles and news daily through text and still imagery. They take advantage of their position in the information market by adopting a local feel to the newspaper and by applying it’s branding logo, Ottawa Citizen, which is printed in large capital letters and bold font. The parliament tower is also centered in between the text and this helps give off a unique and powerful look to the image. The ratio of content in the newspaper between text and imagery is even, combining usually both an article with a large photo and paragraphs of text. The colour palette of imagery and text may be limited for the reader because the viewer could be reading the printed newspaper in either black or white; and for other viewers it could have been printed in all ranges of colour. They inevitably have pros and cons when branding to a wide range of audiences in Ottawa. Younger audiences may not be as use to reading from a newspaper, whereas as older audiences are more familiar and feel at home with a newspaper to read. Personally for me, I skim over articles in the Ottawa Citizen until I find specific articles I like and decide to read it on the way to work or school. I don’t necessarily read it daily either.


Another example is CBC News, a local television broadcasting station here in Ottawa which usually reports in the evenings daily. Their position in the information market is significant to getting important issues and news related to local areas in Ottawa directly to you. They interact with the viewer by using imagery, text, video, and interactive elements such as the weather application to make stories clear and information easy to understand. They can be very creative in presenting the content to the viewer in showing graphics, audio recordings, video interviews, and editing helps with the process of displaying the information quickly and making it easy to grasp the content.


A final example is CBC Radio, a local radio broadcasting station in Ottawa which reports early mornings and evenings. Their position in the information market is getting to be less and less known than the other two simply because you are limited to only audio, and restricts any sort of video or imagery. Radio has been around a long time and there are still many people who rely on radio on their way to work for their daily commute, traffic and weather reports. In my opinion, I believe that CBC News is the best way to reach out to all audiences. Not only does this provide content that is visually appealing to all audiences, it delivers their content in a pleasing way as opposed to Ottawa Citizen and CBC Radio.