Graphics and Videos and Sounds, Oh My!

Most of us know the story told in The Wizard of Oz; we instantly recognize the Wicked Witch, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion. There’s a magical moment in the classic film when Kansas country girl Dorothy opens the door of her windblown cabin to discover the saturated palette of Oz.

The world of communications has undergone a similar transformation. Over thousands of years, we’ve evolved: cave paintings, the Gutenberg press, telegraph and telephone, radio, and newspaper are a timeline developed in a slow, steady march of progress.

But in what feels nearly instantaneous, we’ve moved from the grayscale of the newspaper to the vivid, colorful, noisy world of multi-media communication.

We must now be adept in graphics, video, and sound because we’ll be called upon to provide engaging, dynamic media to go along with our text. Simple writing is rare, even a press release is now accompanied by photos and Tweet-ready soundbites. Knowing how to format for online publication is a key skill.

There is no question that a contemporary communicator is going to find herself working digitally. While there remains a certain satisfaction in the kinesthetic process of writing longhand, or in the aural reward of a clacking typewriter, those analog approaches simply are not effective in the modern world if a message must be broadcast widely.

Aptitude in digital communication best practices is essential. As Angela Stairs of seoplus+ writes in Media Bistro, “Basic photo editing and video editing skills are becoming more and more important if you are looking to work in digital media, marketing, advertising or journalism. Even communications positions with smaller businesses and not-for-profits are calling for at least beginner-level skills in these areas” (Lombard, n.d., para. 6).

Think of dynamic digital media as the yellow brick road that will get you and your clients where you want to go: on the screens of readers, potential customers, donors, or patrons, ruby slippers optional.

Not sure where to start? Udemy has you covered! These online courses to get you started on the yellow brick road to video editing:


Lombard, J. (n.d.). 10 digital skills every media pro needs to master. Mediabistro.