Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

New story forms

Recoding journalism: Some ideas to get started

Changing the way accountability stories are written takes research, preparation, listening and even a bit of psychology. Here are some recommendations from experts we’ve talked to on persuasion and communications. We’ve arranged the recommendations into six categories: Audience, Data, Storytelling, Emotion, Words, and Shareability. For each, we’ve included projects that demonstrate some of the effective […]

NPR: The annotated speech

The annotated speech Creator: National Public Radio Summary: Live annotations and fact-checking of political speeches. _____________________________________________ During the height of the 2016 elections and its firehose of nonstop news, NPR wanted a better way to cover live speeches and debates. At the same time, NPR was looking for a way “to elevate the prominence and […]

Purple: The Political Messenger

Purple: The Political Messenger Creators: Rebecca Harris and David Heimann Summary: Uses Facebook Messenger and SMS to add context to complex political news. _____________________________________________ The concept behind Purple is simple: Get explanations about complicated political events or issues as if you were asking a smart friend. No jargon, just a bit of wonkiness, and more […]

Los Angeles Times: Story stacks

Story stacks Creators: The Los Angeles Times Summary: Uses a vast combination of visuals to explain issues loaded with facts, such as the country’s national monuments now under review. _____________________________________________ At the Los Angeles Times, the invention of simple templates called “story stacks” allows journalists to tell complex stories in ways that can be more […]

Baltimore Sun: ‘Dismissed’: Focused on solutions

‘Dismissed’: Focused on solutions Creator: The Baltimore Sun Summary: Uses multiple tools — including an interactive 360 tour and a unique quiz — to help readers understand a controversial investigation. _____________________________________________ Last year, The Baltimore Sun set out to untangle the city’s “widely misunderstood” housing court process — the first in the nation to establish […]

Washington Post: Tracking Trump

Tracking Trump Creator: The Washington Post Summary: A database/tracking tool helps keep tabs on changes made by the Trump administration. Charts and cards, rather than pages of writing and rhetoric, can distract from partisanship and instead focus on learning. _____________________________________________ With a new president elected on a promise to overturn the work of the previous […]

Asheville Citizen-Times: Explaining redistricting

Explaining redistricting Creator: The Asheville Citizen-Times Summary: A Facebook video project on how redistricting affects North Carolina politics. _____________________________________________ At the Asheville Citizen-Times a couple years ago, a group of journalists gathered in the lounge area in sight of displays tracking real-time audience metrics on the paper’s website. They could see that a critically important […]

ProPublica: A tweetstorm of facts

A tweetstorm of facts Creator: ProPublica Summary: An edited series of fast tweets designed to allow facts to combat misinformation in real time. _____________________________________________ On Thanksgiving weekend 2016, President Trump’s Twitter activity spurred ProPublica to embark on a new form of explainer journalism for the non-profit — the tweetstorm. Faced with a tweet from the […]

New York Times: Visualizing America’s problems

Visualizing America’s problems Creator: The New York Times Summary: A visual snapshot of the nation’s problems. _____________________________________________ The New York Times visualized the main issues on Americans’ minds using an understated, yet highly effective presentation: nested pink, yellow and blue boxes of varying sizes. The graphic presentation based on the Gallup poll question, “What do […]

Axios: ‘Smarter Faster’ videos

‘Smarter Faster’ videos Creator: Axios Summary: A series of first-person interviews with experts overlaid with graphics and conversational text to succinctly explain an issue to the viewer. _____________________________________________ Axios, which launched earlier this year with a platform geared toward “smart brevity,” is making a mark as a media disruptor. Politico veterans Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen […]

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Strategy Studies

The best practices for innovation within news organizations

This Strategy Study presents examples and insights about journalism innovation, offering actionable advice and methods to move your journalism and business forward.