Adopt-A-Multimedia Journalist: Andrew North

With a background in broadcast, Andrew North has advanced to a full-on multimedia approach, cutting a swatch through the British Broadcast Corporation ranks to become the lead correspondent for southeast Asia.  Based in Delhi, North’s stories tend to feature India and Indian concerns.  As a broadcaster, North is skilled and well spoken.  He seems to always have an actual camera crew for his stories, which allows him to do stand-ups and different types of interviews.  Having a camera crew helps North stay the focus by putting himself on camera.  North’s broadcast pieces tend to find their way into his Internet articles.  Sometimes these articles are only a brief synopsis or introduction for the video itself.  Other times, the article is a closer look at the featured story.  In the future, it would suit North well to write longer, more in-depth articles for his posted video work.  North shows skill at writing in a print style as well.  He blogs for the BBC, but his opinion is buried beneath a great deal of fact.  Far removed from the political partisanship and punditry of American news organizations, North forays into social media, such as blogging and Twitter, are more concerned with the facts North has discovered from his reporting work in the region and linking to the stories of other reporters.  Using social media to actually advance the journalism that earns his living shows that North is savvy and trustworthy.  Even when he has a sanctioned soapbox, North stays away from preaching, postulating and pontificating, and his credibility and objectivity are preserved through this.

North uses links for many of his posts, especially on Twitter when linking to a story is essential due to word count restrictions.  However, North’s own videos are typically embedded within the browser page for his online stories.  Using video is key here.  Bypassing the less flashy and often less interesting audio stories for brilliant moving pictures, North gives news seekers the chance to pick from a quick influx on knowledge with the 90 second to 2 minute video stories.  He also allows more patient or less busy readers an opportunity to read the story in depth for more information.  Printed articles can also help newcomer readers who may not be familiar with the situation and need more background for the story.

While video and printed words are North’s bread and butter, he also employs still photographs.  He always features photos in articles that lack video, which enhances the overall aesthetic experience.  Some photos are not North’s, but some he has taken himself.  The pictures taken by North are of obvious lower quality than some of the other photos he posts online.  This seems like a minor weakness for a versatile reporter, but it could be a sign of a bigger problem.  As stated above, North takes no video, so it is possible he has forgotten how to make quality pictures.  It is also possible he never was good with a camera, and a camera crew is necessary to make his work shine.  In any case, North uses varying types of media to achieve a singular goal of informing the public, and he does so with style and gravitas.

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For this article, which can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-20590302, Andrew North sticks to mostly straight reporting.  North uses some creative voice to set his tone, which may come from his broadcast background.  The interesting photographs in this piece have a clear Associated Press credit, so while it is well written and informative, it lacks good original photography or anything to support the story.

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For this news story, North takes to the streets and reports from his position in front of the camera.  While the video element adds gravitas and shows his position on location, the supporting text is light and merely supports the video instead of being viable on its own.  The video can be seen here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20907629

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This story from North is similar to the previous one.  The supporting text offers only a little background to set up the video.  However, North’s video work is much better, with compelling footage and a fine stand-up.  The video piece shows why North is a top reporter.  The full video can be seen here.

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North alters his content but not his approach.  While slightly more text is included for this story, it’s needed because the video is only a Q&A between North and the father of a rape-murder victim.  Aside from a glaring pop-in the video is solid.  North uses this post as a sort of beat report.  He’s merely updating on what has become a major story for his area.  The page is here.

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Interestingly, the provided text for this post describes something different than the story.  The video product is a quality piece regarding the dirty political climate in India, while the text preps the reader for upcoming news stories on David Cameron’s visit to the country.  The video and text work together to tell a bigger story than they would apart.  The full video can be seen here.

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North finally dives head-first into multimedia.  This article is a well written print piece augmented by a 10 minute video product, a photograph and a sidebar with a few quick statistics.  Any person looking to acquire information on this topic can look no further.  Considering his talents as both a broadcaster and a print reporter, it would behoove North to compose more pages like this one.  However, the time required to compile this was most likely considerable.  This is the URL: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-21469286

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No video, but ample links and photographs.  North takes a break from broadcasting and illuminates his readers with the written word.  North also includes copious links and throws in three pictures for his subject.  That he didn’t take any of the photographs is inconsequential, he used the materials at his disposal to improve the aesthetics of his news piece.  The page can be found here.

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North gets even more creative with his multimedia imagery, incorporating a Google Maps image to grant the reader a better idea of the location.  North, reporting from Bangladesh now, uses two videos, and both are well done.  In addition to all this, the story is given a full print treatment with photographs.  Another interesting angle is the inclusion of a sidebar for another reporter.  Putting it all together, North crafts a varied news story that is in-depth and visually pleasing.  The full article is here.

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North makes better use of his photography in this article.  While the text portion is fairly standard story writing, the pictures add much.  In particular, a photo of the hotel the woman jumped from, with the exact balcony circled in red, gives the reader a visual idea of what happened.  It seems that North can use photograph effectively too when he is inspired.  The original story is here.

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North again abandons his camera for a more traditional news story approach.  However, North infuses his story with many links, making it feel more like a blog post than an actual news article.  Using more Associated Press photographs makes sense because North had no way of getting into this action.  Also, the entire article is fashioned like an editorial.  This makes it feel even more blog-like.  Still, it has important information and enough links to feed the needs of any researcher.  The page is found here.

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