Motion graphics in independent media and modern journalism

Over the last year, I presented on Motion Graphics, Animation, and Modern Journalism at national high school journalism conventions in New York City, Seattle, and most recently, Dallas. I have been extremely grateful for these opportunities, and in preparation for my first presentation, I pulled from personal experience, original interviews, and research to concretely formulate my thoughts on how motion graphics and journalism intersect. Now, after presenting for the third time in Dallas, this November, I have put a lot of thought into how motion graphics intersects with not only journalism, but specifically with independent media.

In my presentation, I begin by laying down the basics of multimedia journalism and how technological advances like cell phones and social media have drastically changed the reporting process. In this section, I focus on a few important points:

First, these advances have made every single person into a journalist. This is an incredibly positive development, in my opinion, because of its aid to democracy, put simply; but it does present some problems. Now, journalists’ job isn’t just to report the truth—our job is also to help consumers filter through the media content created by inexperienced or unethical citizen reporters, and by creators with malicious intent.

Because of this, now journalists must focus on making their content engaging, as well as journalistically sound. This is problematic for journalism, if the focus on the content’s engagement comes at the cost of quality. But this also presents journalists with an opportunity.

These developments in technology, while sometimes giving journalists more hoops to jump through, have also pushed journalists to tell more effective stories, and to innovate in storytelling methods. This is where motion graphics comes in.

Motion graphics is the multimedia tool for today’s indy media organizations and independent journalists that want to tell effective and attractive stories flexibly. Motion graphics designers can create life and meaning out of any set of objects, or any text elements—and because of this, there is truly no limit to what stories you can tell with motion graphics, and how you can tell those stories.

I discuss these arguments more in-depth in the above video—but I strongly believe that learning motion graphics is a worthwhile investment for any young journalist, and I believe that there is untapped potential in how motion graphics can be used in the independent newsroom.