New story forms

‘Cinemagraphs’ hold more attention than static images, require less commitment than video

Jack Marshall writes about the rise of cinemagraphs — still photos incorporating looping animated elements — which were once seen most often on Tumblr and now are increasingly a focus of some marketers. For marketers and advertisers, the subtle format may be more effective for some goals than a banner ad or video; publishers may […]

How NPR builds its special format stories around a dominant media type

Wes Lindamood writes about the evolution of NPR’s picture stories and how the storytelling vision gets integrated with the web design. Regarding the storytelling, Lindamood notes how to avoid cluttered special story formats, those which may have attractive pieces but aren’t cohesive. Instead, identify a dominant media type (e.g. visual or audio) and enhance its […]

How Radiolab is experimenting in telling local stories through walking tours

Radiolab unveiled at SXSW the “The Year that Broke Austin,” a location-aware storytelling experience that guided smartphone users through a walking tour of Austin, Texas, which followed the path of the “Servant Girl Annihilator,” a mysterious serial killer who plagued the city in 1885. The project, which worked with app startup Detour, faced challenges: it […]

Interactive storytelling ideas to make large stories accessible, from Amsterdam’s Hackastory hackathon

Turning online stories into games and creating new ways to explore components of a story were themes at Hackastory, organized in collaboration with DocLab at the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam and area journalists and filmmakers. News Bricks, which break stories into “unlockable” blocks of who, what, where, when and visuals, is one example; Storyweb, which […]

64 ways to think about a news homepage

Looking past the common refrains that “the homepage is dead,” Melody Kramer recaps a brainstormed list of 64 different ways to think about “the homepage.” It’s better thought of as “any way for a user to first encounter content.” Starting with the traditional homepage split into topical sections, and then highlighting approaches already taken by […]

How virtual reality news experiences generate more empathy than reading or watching TV

Eleven out of 14 projects in an experimental showcase of the Sundance Film Festival this year are enhanced by virtual reality, and a couple of them are news-related projects. One we have noted before came from VICE News, another was Project Syria, a VR experience by students at USC that puts a user in Syria […]

National Geographic’s 7-year journey around the world  ‘Out of Eden’ is an example of ‘slow journalism’

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek is two years into a documented walk around the world, a project that recently received an additional $950,000 in funding from the Knight Foundation to allow further use of digital storytelling tools. For National Geographic, this project is about “slow journalism,” spending lots of time with a story, which is […]

Vox’s experiment with evergreen content: refresh and re-run

To better use and extend the shelf life time-intensive reporting, writing and coding projects, Vox organized an experiment in mid-December to update and republish work from its archive. “Rather than putting the old article back up again unchanged, or adding a little apologetic introductory text to explain why it was coming back and was possibly […]

The centuries-old appeal of bundled facts: They make readers feel smart

Facts bundled in list form may seem like a modern invention, but a 19th-century time traveler would feel right at home with that “information literature,” writes Alexis Madrigal, citing research. Moreover, the reasons readers enjoy these bundles appears constant. “Modern day editors, armed with analytics and headline testing algorithms, have discovered not that people want […]

Most of the New York Times’ most popular items last year weren’t news stories

Differences between the most visited Times content in 2014 and 2013 show marked differences. Many of the popular stories from this past year weren’t conventional news but a mix of contributed content, interactives, quizzes (in addition to some hard news, such as the deaths of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams, and a piece on […]