headphones and mic, the Blackberry, maybe a[n] iPhone too, the Flipcamera, and perhaps a digital camcorder . . . ”118You can also offer visuals through words and mental images. When a chiefengineer of the world’s largest prefabricated hydroelectric power plant was112Id.113“When television was youngeven black and whiteTV News began with one cameraand a reporter reading news items from United Press and local writers. We then addedvisualsslides, still pictures, other reporters and the local worldcaught in portrait by 16millimeter film.” Interview with Matt Connolly, television producer, Jan. 24, 2009.114Some scholars have commented on the fact that television is not as visual a mediumas some portray it, since “‘pure’ television viewing is a relatively rare occu[r]ance.” CHRISJENKS, VISUALCULTURE172 (Routledge, 1995). More than half of people multi-task whilewatching television, and many put the television on whenever they are in the house. Id.115While video used to be thought of as only necessary for the broadcast journalist fortelevision news, with the onset of the Internet and new media, video (not just stillphotographs) is being used on newspaper websites, radio websites, and various new mediaoutlets. The need for visuals including video, graphics, and photographs has become such apart of today’s new media landscape that the School of Journalism and MassCommunications at the University of South Carolina has begun a new emphasis in itsjournalism program called visual communications.116See generallyCHRISTOPHERR. HARRIS& PAULMARTINLESTER, VISUALJOURNALISM: A GUIDEFORNEWMEDIAPROFESSIONALS(Allyn & Bacon, 2001).117Lester Sloan, Digital Media Push Images to the Foreground, NEIMANREPORTS(Fall 2007).118The Search for True North,NEIMANREPORTS4 (Winter 2008),available at(last visited Jan. 24, 2009).
Connolly and Duhé Chapter 7, Responding to the Media, January Draft (27 Jan.—DRAFTSUBMITTED TO ABA/ELI), Page 23 of 26preparing for interviews with the media, his responses regarding the massivestructure were initially very hard to understand.119Finally, in response to thequery as to how big a prefabricated hydroelectric plant sent floating downthe Mississippi River really was,120the engineer realized that many wouldunderstand relating the size of the plant to the size of the football stadium atLouisiana State University.121Descriptive language in plain English is vitalwhen working with a reporter.It is important that when speaking about complicated scientificenvironmental issues such as pollution, global climate change, and the like,you give much effort to helping the audience visualize what one is talkingabout and therefore understand.122Like the case of the engineer trying totalk about the hydroelectric power plant, imagery can be used to help theaudience better understand complex scientific or environmental issues. For