Archive for May, 2009

Reaction Post #1

May 26, 2009

Reading versus watching – do multimedia stories increase reader understanding?  German Bakery article vs. German Bakery slideshow

I read the Baltimore Sun German Bakery article, “The spot to eat, sing and be merry” first and then viewed the Baltimore Sun German Bakery slideshow titled “German Thursdays.” 

The article starts by describing an 82 year-old German man, Alfred Zeller, playing an accordion.  As I read this, my mind envisioned an old, gray-haired man with a gray mustache and beard wearing long green shorts with suspenders and playing an accordion.  The man I pictured was still handsome for his age (based on the description in the article that he was a certified ladies’ man).

By the end of the first two sentences, I already knew Zeller quite well.  He was German, played the accordion, lived a few blocks from Edelweiss Bakery and Cafe on Harford Road in North Baltimore and that the owner of the bakery was also German. 

However, since I am not familiar with German desserts, I was not sure what a schnitzel or a springerle referred to other than it must be a dessert since the men were in a bakery. 

The article presents background information on how “German Thursdays” began.  Unfortunately, there are no pictures to reference to understand the atmosphere at the bakery on these Thursdays.

The slideshow on the other hand makes you feel you are at the bakery on “German Thursdays” and you experience what happens along with the people who are a part of it.  You get to meet Zeller and see the outside and inside of the bakery.  The pictures of the desserts look delicious; even though I’m still not sure which ones were schnitzels or springerles.

With the slideshow you experience the love, friendship, and camaraderie of all the customers who are participating in the event.  You know what Zeller looks like and how his right hand has a wrap on it as he plays the accordion. 

The narration in the slideshow is from a relative of the owner telling her story about “German Thursdays” and how Zeller started playing his accordion and attracting new people to attend the event.      

The article leaves one’s mind to picture what is described and the slideshow paints the picture for you.  I do believe that multimedia stories increase reader understanding.  The slideshow enhances the article’s detailed information by lending a “fun” portion you can’t capture in just words.  The laughing, singing, and hugging of the customers in the German setting will now relate to “German Thursdays” in my mind.