Five inspiring pieces awarded at the SND Digital 2012


Maybe these were not the best pieces of the contest (I won't say 'graphics' because the limits of what is a graphic nowadays are blurry), not even the five I liked the most, but five examples I'll remember when thinking on how to tell stories in the future (and the present)

1. Use of audio
Trial excerpt: Getting to not GuiltyThe Boston Globe

The idea is simple, actually: they wanted to explain how things happen on the Court, so what they give is the complete audio of a session, the transcript and a colored bar marks what's playing the audio. This particular case explains the story of the judgement of a person who confessed being guilty of driving drunk and cause an accident in the moment it happened but was declared not guilty after all.

Why I like it?
It really explains the information in the best possible way. No fireworks. I can't figure myself reading a long article about this topic, and I guess won't be enough just hearing the audio. But they way The Boston Globe mixed both created a very effective piece: the voices, the doubts, how they talked, wth the transcript to follow the action on an easier way... Smart, effective, objective journalism.

2. Multimedia Integration
At the Metropolitan Museum, a new wing, a new vista | The New York Times

The Metropolitan Museum was opening a new islamic wing and The New York Times created this virtual visit to all lounges, with navigable panoramas, image details, audio explanations and other details.

Why I like it?

None of the separated elements is very original. I've seen better navigable panoramas, better image details, better audio explanations, better wing maps... but all the stuff is brought together on a really great way. Multimedia pieces are not just juxtaposed, but integrated. So here 1+1+1+1 is more than 4. And with really good details, like the tiny map on the left, advancing with the scroll and changing depending on the lounge you're watching each moment.

3. Use of social networks
Cast Your Vote, 2011 Oscar | The New York Times

The Oscar 2011 special by The New York Times invites you, as many others, to fill your own ballot. But there's an extra point: the possibility to share it on Facebook with your friends and play against them.

Why I like it?

All media know they have to do things with  social networks, but no one knows exactly what to do. This is what to do. This special piece by the Grey Lady is a perfect demonstration of how social pieces can be without complex developments. A really social product.

4. Different use of video
Pop up politics | National Public Radio

Do you remember VH1 Pop Up Videos? NPR has adapted that idea to politics: videos showing funny things about what's happening on them, but here NPR is using speeches of the republican candidates instead of music videos.

Why I like it?

Ok, the idea is not original, but changing the context to politics add a very interesting layer (and changes the sometimes hieratic face of elections info). Maybe this particular example by NPR has too many 'funny' things rather then 'important', but is a very good way to analyze speeches, and on videos, so important for advertising revenues nowadays.

5. Vertical narratives
How Osama Bin Laden was located and killed | The New York Times

A colection of graphics and multimedia pieces about the capture of Osama Bin Laden by, yes, again, The New York Times. This vertical system completing the information step by step is not exclusive of the Times, but a format each time more popular in the United States media.

Why I like it?

If the example of the Metropolitan was great because of the integration over the juxtaposition, here is the opposite: the juxtaposition works over the integration. The format creates a linear narrative, with differentiated pieces, indexed with the tiny fixed menu at the left. The story is told by steps, like the successful Mariano Rivera video infographic.

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