Visual journalism helps the writer show the story, not just tell it. With ample apps and image resources available to an online writer, writing compelling stories has never been easier.
BY MAMMUSO KOLOTSANE
As writers, we are often encouraged to show our readers our ideas and not just tell them about them. With online writing at its peak and as competitive as ever, writers are also encouraged to skill up on qualities that will set them apart. Being able to weave together storytelling and imagery to get ideas across is one such skill.
Writing Captivating Stories
Images are evocative. They trigger our emotions and help us learn and remember. Along with basic writing skills, writers need to be adept at visual communication. In an article published in the Huffpost, contributor writer Zach Kitschke reasons that visual communication is the most important skill for journalists.
He highlights that these skills make sure our readers stay engaged and take away all the benefits of the information we share with them.
Fiona Mallett, in her article Writers: Boost Your Career with Visual Journalism Skills, emphasizes the importance of writing visually for our readers. She adds that it is key that a writer analyses and prioritizes the needs of the reader.
Visual Journalism Tools Available to An Online Writer
With the outpouring of information on the net, we are not without resources as writers. Here are some of the tools that help deliver writing with beautiful imagery and skillful expertise.
- Infogr.am is a platform that empowers people to create engaging and interactive content, from infographics to social media visuals.
- Prezi is a tool to create visual presentations. It allows for presentation over video and works with popular apps like Zoom and YouTube.
- WordArt is an arcade of text styles that can be added to publications to create decorative effects.
Writing for the future
Writing for the internet is highly competitive. Visual journalism skills offer an opportunity to stand out from the rest and have a marketable career.
Readers are now looking to get their content in the most effective of ways. We must be able to deliver those means to remain relevant. Mustenser Qamar writes in his article:
“Written articles could soon be a thing of the past. Learn how to incorporate visual journalism in your writing career and stay a step ahead.”
- Give Your Writing A Makeover: Show, Don’t Tell
- How Your Smart Phone Can Help Your Journalism Career
- 6 Essential Skills For The Digital Journalist
What visual journalism means for writers
In conclusion, being able to strategically combine words with images to tell our stories helps the basic show and don’t tell teaching while equipping writers with technical and design skills.
With this guidance, we see that visually writing a piece and incorporating images and video among other things will make a writer an invaluable asset to any editorial team – and turn readers into fans.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mammuso Kolotsane is a writer who lives in Durbanville, Cape Town. She was born in the small town of Odendaalsrus, in the Free State, and was raised in the mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho. She studied digital marketing and is currently pursuing a course in instructional design. Her subjects of interest include psychology and human behavior. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, crime doccies and putting together jigsaw puzzles.