Using all of your storytelling strengths

Editorial Oct 30, 2014 Using all of your storytelling strengths

Senior Writer Monica DeMeglio explains how a team uses a focused approach to storytelling in different media when pulling together a compelling, complementary package.

There are so many ways you could tell Blake Haxton’s story.

There are articles and video of his TEDx talk about his battle with necrotizing fasciitis as a teenager and standout on the rowing team at Upper Arlington High School. Stories about Haxton’s athletic prowess surfaced this summer, after he competed in the 2014 World Rowing Championships as a member of the U.S. Para-rowing national team, ultimately placing fourth in the world.

Our team considered how best to approach Haxton’s story for Ohio State’s digital and print properties, including the redesign debut of Ohio State Alumni magazine. We settled on the aspect that makes him spectacular in our minds: He’s trying to succeed in two very competitive arenas – world-class rowing and law school.

Randy Walk has quickly established a look and feel for university videos, and this one has a lot of great examples to note. He used multiple cameras (including those beautiful, steady shots inside the boat with a GoPro), multiple locations (including a studio) and multiple sources of audio (including nat sound).

Seconds are precious in video packages, and we weren’t interested in spending many of them going over Haxton’s back story. But you still have to catch people up to speed.

The narrative piece that accompanied the video online provided background people need for greater context – from the phenomenal care he received at the Ross Heart Hospital to the faculty and staff who have gone the distance for him as a student at Fisher College of Business and the Moritz College of Law. We even covered how he was able to return to the sport of rowing in February, only to establish himself as a dominant force at a world championship just six months later.

Thanks to some carefully placed sub-headlines, pull quotes and Kevin Fitzsimon’s stunning photography of Haxton practicing on the Scioto River, our web designer Kelli Sommer was able to lighten the text-heavy feel of the narrative story accompanying the video.

By pulling together the strengths of various disciplines – photography, cinematography, writing and design – we were able to deliver a focused, interesting story that does justice to Haxton’s indelible spirit.


About the author

Monica DeMeglio - demeglio.1@osu.edu
Senior writer
Monica DeMeglio

Monica enjoys stories that are told well. Sometimes it’s with words, but our digital world offers other ways to spin a yarn, too.


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