October 15, 2006

EL405: Flash Journalism Case Study 2

"If I have to open up a linear Flash file and tweak stuff, that takes time. The tool takes it out of my hands and puts it back into the editor's halds." --Dave Braunger (McAdams 317)

This is the quote that instantly attracted me to case study number 2, Star Tribune Slideshow Tool, in Flash Journalism by Mindy McAdams. I myself am the Arts & Entertainment editor for The Setonian, and by reading this quote I felt I may aqquire personal gain from this particular case study.

I was right, too. A lot of the details in the case study I could relate to from being part of a student newspaper staff, and as a student learning to use Flash. The Star Tribune uses Flash to bring news to their viewers just as so many news web sites do, but they had a problem with only four designers to work on the entire site.

As I'm learning, developing Flash is quick, but it takes time to master in order to execute the final project in a timley manner, AKA as soon as possible in the field of journalism's standards. With only a limited amount of designers, the Star built a template so that more staff members could edit Flash files.

This case study taught me to give the viewerd what they need, be it sound clips to accompany a pictre, or maybe a caption is a better choice- it all depends on the situation. It is a helpful tip for Project 1, for EL405, where I'll be presenting Catholic Social Teaching information in a Flash file.

Also, the Star's Flash presentations are very clean, they use a lot of white. This prevents view destraction, and lets them focus on the most important areas of the slide.

Braunger, a designer for the Star, also cautions the use of flashy transitions. There should be a point to the transition, something for the reader to look for. If there is not, the reader keeps looking ahead instead of focusing on the present slide. Another tip I will keep in mind for Project 1.

Posted by StormyKnight at October 15, 2006 6:31 PM

I really liked this case study. I learned a lot about the design elements of Flash, such as the sound, as you mentioned. I thought sound was something of importance until I read this study. Now I know that sound can actually detract from the effect of the presentation.

You're right, this would be an excellent piece for photo journalists to read.

Posted by: stormy at October 19, 2006 2:00 AM

This was also the case study that I examined. It was interesting to note that the incorporation of audio was mentioned but not as a necessity. It was something that was used when appropriate, and it seemed as if more emphasis was placed on the photos and their captions. I believe that a photo journalist would benefit greatly from taking a look at this case study.

Posted by: Leslie Rodriguez at October 17, 2006 3:27 PM
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