WOUB Pushes Digital Media, Spotlights Visuals

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More than two years ago, WOUB Public Media changed the way they previously reported news – they adopted a ‘digital first’ philosophy.

The digital push has included a new website, more in-depth writing and better video and photos. Social media has also played a big part in informing the public on stories that may be of interest to them. 

In an effort to give photos and video an outlet a Twitter account was established, @WOUBVisuals.

Grant Burkhardt, WOUB digital news editor, has helped coordinate the efforts.

“We wanted to be able to showcase of our more extensive video pieces – stuff you won’t see on Newswatch – that we will be producing in the future,” said Burkhardt. 

He went on to say that the station has more Visual Communication majors working than ever before and who are trying to grow their portfolios and WOUB wants to help showcase their work.

“You’ll see a lot of sports photos, along with shots from the community and events going on in the area,” Burkhardt said. “It will help students network with other professionals and give them platform to help them get their work seen by the public.”

The digital push has been a focus for Tom Hodson, WOUB’s director and general manager, since he took the position with WOUB in January 2011.

“Still images and video are critically important to 21st century forms of storytelling,” said Hodson. “They not only complement text, but sometimes they can stand alone and be a strong form of storytelling on their own without textual narratives.”

Hodson went on to say that photos have always been important to journalism and storytelling, but are especially important in today’s media. 

“In a digital age, still images are still powerful and evoke strong emotions within the viewer,” said Hodson. “Video, used in a digital way and not for traditional telecast, accomplishes the same task. Both bring the viewer closer to the story that is being told and both are essential for quality digital communication.”