Interactive storytelling, our future


Journalism is certainly an industry that is suffering. Not that it will disappear, but the print field is pretty much condemned with a possible execution date. It is interesting how the evolution of the field has paralleled the transformation of society and the modernization of the different technologies. Thus, with the passage of time, it hasn’t been surprising that the industry and its professionals have had to adapt in order to deliver and enhance the value of the product they have to offer.

The New York Times has been extremely successful in doing so. After transitioning to the digital platform as many other newspapers have done as its plan B, the NYT had yet another plan A under its sleeve. The company was clever enough to take advantage of not only the technologies available, but the tools and opportunities the platform had to offer like no one else before. It embarked on a project, which ended up being an overwhelming success, thus changing the way of telling stories and challenging other media enterprises by setting a high standard to look up to.

image[2]“Snowfall” was released in December 2012 and it brought with it everlasting reviews hailing the piece as the future of journalism.

Based on the story of group of skiers and snowboarders trapped beneath an avalanche in Washington state’s Cascade Mountains; the piece is formatted in the form of an eye-popping multimedia feature.  At its peak, reportedly as many as 22,000 users visited “Snow Fall” at the same time. It also received around 2.9 million visits for more than 3.5 million page views.

Unlike a standard online article, which doesn’t diverge much from the original print layout, Snow Fall, a multi-chapter series by features reporter John Branch, it’s a visual feast, which integrates video, photos and graphics in a logical and almost effortless manner.

Screen shot 2014-10-03 at 10.55.08 AMAs you scroll through the various sections of the content you don’t get the feeling that the mix of elements are just tacked on.

The media elements are well planned and placed, embedded in a redundant fashion reinforcing the written statements and even developing further on the facts.

Future or not, it sure turned out to be successful. And people can’t get enough of it.

A few months later, The Washington Post, refusing to be outdone, made ​​his own version of “Snow Fall” with “Cycling’s Road Forward” — a media report of similar characteristics, which featured a young rider named Joe Dombrowski. As with the NYT skiers, Dombrowski’s story surprised by the use of unconventional tools that worked for embellishment and support on the retelling of the events. For example, The Post detailed one of Dombrowski’s training rides near Nice, France, using satellite imagery and explored his ride out of Lance Armstrong’s shadow.

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About Domenica Leone

Domenica Leone is a sophomore at the University of Miami double majoring in broadcast journalism and media management with a minor in marketing. Leone, 19, graduated from Unidad Educativa Bilingue Delta in Guayaquil, Ecuador. She had the second highest grade point average in her class -19.71 in a 20 point scale- and was recognized as the best student in English. She was on the swimming team and competed in several interscholastic championships including one in Piura, Peru. She served in student government as treasurer and public relation officer. She was a writer and editor for the Estudiantes 2000, a newspaper for students throughout Guayaquil. As a senior she was the co-master of ceremonies of her school’s annual sport field day. She studied English in Boston and on Victoria Island in British Columbia and French in Paris. Before beginning at the University of Miami Leone earned 15 credits at a branch of Broward College, a Florida school, in Guayaquil. Leone studied dance from the time she was four years old. She is certified to teach tap dancing. For three years she has been training at a gymnastics school that models itself on Cirque du Soleil. During summer 2014, Leone interned on ''Expreso'' , an Ecuadorian newspaper of high repute.She was also invited on a couple of occasions to co host an entertainment radio show.