Teaching Examples


Online storytelling examples
June 22, 2006, 12:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Al Tompkins, of Poynter, shares some of his current favorite examples of “great online storytelling.” The Naples (Fla.) News database of local housing sales is an excellent package, very smart — but not one I would highlight for “storytelling.” It includes a great backgrounder (Here’s why we ignored ‘over-valued’ realty story), which provides valuable insight to how journalists approach the stories they cover.

Final Salute, the slideshow about Marines who help families cope with the loss of a soldier, is of course on everyone’s list of top multimedia.

I had not seen Alaska Priest. The photography is stunning, but for me, the package doesn’t succeed as a standalone. Why? No context. It lacks an introduction, and all the pictures (22) are available as thumbnails. The captions are good, but a story needs structure, and there is none here.

For more examples, here’s the list of multimedia examples I update whenever I see something that stands out for me.

I’m working on the idea of storytelling in multimedia, but I haven’t put it all together yet. What I know is, there are some multimedia packages (like Final Salute; like the Washington Post slideshow I blogged about on June 16) that absolutely nail it.

Does that mean you need an audio track? Well, it helps, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Maybe in some cases, but not all. Does it have to be linear? Not entirely — I am quite certain of that! But some elements of linearity may be required.

Finally, structure. The breaking up and sorting and ordering of the parts of the story — these are essential. The longer and more complex a story is, the more a strong structure can make it or break it. I’ve seen too many stories online that have great photography but lack structure.

You don’t need to break up an audio-driven slideshow that’s, say, 3 minutes or less. You don’t need to break up a newspaper-style photo story that includes only a few pictures (e.g. fewer than 10). But after a point, the story demands more options for access and understanding,

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1 Comment so far
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Hmmm, sounds like you’ve got another lofty book cooking in that noggin.

Comment by Danny Sanchez




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