In the Twenty-first Century, the internet has completely dominated the culture of our civilisation. As the years progress, technology is rapidly changing in efficiency, and many are rightly arguing that our attention spans are becoming shorter as well as being focused on more interactive learning methods. This has been degrading the use and quality of journalism. Recently, many different media outlets are experimenting on interactive online storytelling, embracing the technology age to engage audiences. The following are two examples of interactive reports that have their advantages and their weaknesses.
Nuclear nightmares is a report that I found to be thoroughly engaging, as well as confronting. The exploration of the present day effects of the Chernobyl disaster is full of images that are quite horrific.
The way in which this report interacts with audiences is highly unique and I found to be easily engaging. Photographs of victims of radiation are all shown in black-and-white, and after taking as long as you need to digest the visual image, you can hover the mouse over the bottom of the picture which reveals a caption about the details of the subject. There are also some sequences of photos which you can scroll through, each one revealing something new about the subject.
This method of storytelling is not only highly interactive, but it is also valuable in journalism as it allows audiences to reflect on things before reading more about them. It allows a complete and satisfying digestion of the report.
The second example is Suspect America, a vimeo animated short explaining surveillance after 9/11 in the US. The interactivity of this report is much simpler, as it is purely video storytelling with no need for audiences to touch anything.
While this is much weaker on the interactive side than the previous example, it still explores its own way of interactive storytelling. The animation is paced well enough to allow audiences to engage properly, and takes advantage of film effects to break down and explain each aspect of the story that is being told.
This doesn’t allow you to engage at your own pace and discover the elements of the story yourself, however (for me, at least) the pacing of the video and the explanations seemed to do the job well enough.
These are both great examples of interactive multimedia journalism and I am excited to see what new ways journalists come up with to present stories.