Multimedia package: China’s Great Grab
Among all the awards for advertising, NAA does give out a few Digital Edge awards for, um, journalism. Three sites won “Edgies” for innovative multimedia storytelling:
- Circulation less than 75,000: Studio 55 vodcast, Naples Daily News (read Rob Curley’s insider story)
- Circulation 75,000-250,000: John Muir Trail blog, The Fresno Bee
- Circulation greater than 250,000: Chicagotribune.com, Chicago Tribune Interactive
The one for the Chicago Tribune caught me by surprise. Multimedia? Chicago Tribune? Sure, I was very impressed by The Art of Listening, but that’s just a Soundslides.
So I hurried on over to their site and poked around some. Yes, they’ve been busy! I found China’s Great Grab, and naturally I have a few remarks about it.
Be more interesting: Even though I am quite interested in China, I could not watch any of the four videos to the end. Especially not the Intro. Either they were just too slow-paced or the reporter’s narrative was too flat — I don’t know, but I felt like I had had enough by about the halfway point for each one.
Put it all together: The graphics (such as The Hidden Costs of Cashmere) are very attractive, but they are not one bit integrated into the package. WHY NOT? Storytelling is a weaving of threads. This story is excellently chunked out into three segments: cashmere, timber and oil. But each segment is a hodgepodge of disconnected pieces.
Don’t permit ads to interfere with your content: This ad may change, but when I viewed the package this morning, there was a right-side vertical ad for a spray cleaner, and it had its own audio. First it made a squirting noise. Then it went BOOM BOOM BOOM. It did this repeatedly, even while I was watching the Tribune’s video.
Eliminate redundancy: The manually operated slideshows also pop up; their windows are usable. However, the first photos in each photo gallery are shots that I already saw in the videos. So I was not very motivated to look at all the photos, but I persevered. After the first several pictures, there were new ones I had not seen before. (Maybe because they were at the end of the videos?)
This story is important, and overall, the subject is quite interesting. But I think we can do better than this in telling the story in the online medium — which offers us so many options for really captivating the people who come to our stories.
The Digital Edge award winners are listed here. Be patient — the page takes a long time to open.
Technorati tags: Flash | Flash journalism | infographics | information graphics | design | journalism | storytelling | examples
Categories: design, multimedia, storytelling