The Roanoke Times spells out how they covered the Va. Tech shooting story. As the closest daily professional newspaper, they obviously invested a lot of human resources into their coverage. Ryan Sholin asks the pertinent question: What is your emergency multimedia plan? #
When I talked to Chris Ritter earlier this week, one of the things we talked about was making sure more people on staff knew how to do some basic multimedia: audio slideshows, simple iMovie video editing, even updating a web page. These are skills that aren’t difficult to teach or learn, and a beat reporter can become a multimedia worker in a pinch.
But I will put this into perspective, especially for colleges, where you’re often dealing with volunteer labor: Plans are easy enough to draft, but another thing entirely to put into action when there’s an event of this size. Sure, everyone’s going to live on adrenalin for a couple of days, but circumstances sometimes mean plans get discarded in the face of cold reality. Example: you lose one of your multimedia editors because someone close lost a friend in a shooting. #
I’m not saying you shouldn’t play “what if?” Definitely think about what you’d do. But be flexible. That’s always a good policy in an emergency. ##