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Industry Focus: The art of visual storytelling

Broadcasters know that visual storytelling is one of the most effective ways of getting information across to an audience quickly and accurately. In recent years, bursts of raw video and data without any context seem to dominate the media landscape suggesting that people have lost the attention span for in-depth accounts and longer, more complex, stories. A study conducted by Context-Based Research Group* found that the opposite may actually be the case. The study found that participants “suffered from ‘news fatigue’, meaning they were overloaded with facts and updates and had trouble connecting to more in-depth stories.” How can you refine your visual storytelling to better connect with your viewers?

Big picture/fewer details: Data and statistics are good but should be used sparingly. More data will not help someone who is already confused. Pulling back and focusing on the big picture at the beginning can help put context around the information that makes the entire story easier to understand.

More visuals: Audiences are more visual than ever. Visuals may sound obvious to television news but don’t just rely on one graphic and talk over it. Words are not enough. Use multiple graphics and video sources, like maps, radar and time lapse video to illustrate the big picture and get the message across clearly.

Make a connection: As human beings we connect with stories and if the story is not about or related to the viewer, he or she will tune out. Use local cameras to tell stories that connect with the audience. Showing the viewers what is happening in their neighborhood allows them to empathize and imagine themselves in similar situations.

Since prehistoric man drew a deer on a cave wall humans have been using visuals to tell stories and relay information. The evolution in the delivery of those stories continues to this day. The first real step in creating great, relatable stories is realizing that it is a process that can always be improved upon. Becoming an expert in visual storytelling allows you to connect with your viewers and better deliver your messages.

Context Research Group Article

A WeatherVision camera network is an affordable way to expand your weather coverage around the community. As the only remote location camera system designed specifically for broadcast stations, WeatherVision allows you to enhance your news and weather storytelling on-air and online with dynamic live, clip and time lapse video.

For over 14 years Weather Metrics has helped local television stations tell a better visual story through networks of strategically placed, HD cameras that enhance the viewer experience and generate new revenue. Today, Weather Metrics helps more television stations deliver engaging live and local video for on-air and online viewing than any other company.