Multiplatform Reporting: Girl Talk concert story package

Photo of Girl Talk performing live

San Antonio Express-News

Photo of Girl Talk performing live
It’s thoroughly electronica onstage, but Girl Talk’s Gregg Gillis says, “I like to have a lot of human elements to it.” Courtesy photo.

Purpose + Audience

For one of my first assignments at the San Antonio Express-News, I was asked to write a preview on acclaimed mashup musician Girl Talk. My previous feature on Girl Talk for Pittsburgh City Paper had been reprinted by four alternative weeklies, including Cincinnati CityBeat. The Express-News is a daily newspaper with a strong web presence — a monthly average of 2.4 million page views. Its primary print competitor in entertainment coverage is an alt-weekly, San Antonio Current.


Assigned to write a single preview, I began sketching out ideas for multimedia extras, and used my relationships with the artist and his publicist to obtain and create a variety of digital assets. I then mapped these elements to the newspaper’s storytelling platforms: blog posts, social media, linking and keywords, audio and slideshows.


My final story package debuted in Google’s top 5 search results for keyword “Girl Talk.” The package consisted of: a preview; an interview clip and slideshow; a blog post; links to free downloads of Girl Talk’s latest album and single; and a live concert review, filed from the venue in time for the morning’s paper.


Creating new music out of hundreds of overlaid samples culled from decades of Top 40 hits, Girl Talk triggers complex emotional responses using tunes you thought you knew.
He often places hip-hop vocals atop a kaleidoscope of pop hooks, mixing in sly blink-and-you-missed-it asides and his own subtle production. His latest album, 2010’s “All Day,” kicks off with Ludacris rapping over Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” then Dorrough combined with the Brothers Johnson’s funk classic “Strawberry Letter 23.” In between, you’ll catch a snippet of Jane’s Addiction.

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