Re: Faster than the speed of morph...

Subject: Re: Faster than the speed of morph...
From: Rick Lippincott <rjl -at- BOSTECH -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 1995 19:17:44 EST

Doug Engstrom discussed multimedia, and at one point he referenced the
word content in a half-hour newscast. He mentioned the oft-cited figure
that the CBS Evening News script has the word count of roughly 2/3 of a
page from the New York Times.

There is one other lesson to be learned from this, though, and it has
application to technical communication through multimedia. Back in the
heydey of CBS news, their television news reports had a reputation for
jamming in as much visual information as possible in every second of the
reporter's film footage. It's fairly easy for a reporter to stand up in
front of a camera and talk about the effects of an earthquake, it's harder
but more informative to have a voice-over footage of the earthquake
destruction. If you're talking about an improved emission control device for
cars, it's easy to stand on a highway overpass and film passing cars while
you talk, it's harder to generate the animated graphics that show how the
emission control system works. And so on.

The application to technical communication is similar. Be sure that the
content of your multimedia actuall -tells- the audience something, don't
just add beauty shots for the sake of having on-line video.

Try watching television news from this viewpoint, and incorporate the lessons
learned into your multimedia productions. It won't be easy, but it will be

Rick Lippincott
Boston Technology
Wakefield, MA
rjl -at- bostech -dot- com

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