Tag Archives: narrative

No, I’m not abandoning the term “storytelling”, Alberto — just the opposite (and here’s why)

A digital storyteller looks like this

digital storyteller image by Darren Kuropatwa

Alberto Cairo provoked quite a bit of reaction this week when he tweeted that data journalism and data visualisation ought to abandon the term “storytelling”…

Given that in two weeks I’ll be doing exactly the opposite (my first intake of MA students begin a new module in Narrative at the end of the month) I thought I should add my own reaction. Continue reading

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‘Storytelling in the Digital Age’: a free ebook

digital storytelling bookA free short ebook on Storytelling in the Digital Age has been published by Gurpreet Mann (disclosure: Gurpreet is a former student of mine).

I’m clearly going to be biased — but I really like it, particularly because it doesn’t just address the technical challenges of new platforms, but also looks at cultural, commercial and narrative contexts. (The chapter on Tumblr and GIFs is a particular highlight).

Gurpreet wrote the book while a distance learning student on the MA in Online Journalism (now the MA in Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism) as part of an exploration of e-publishing. As well as Amazon (in the US, UK and elsewhere) the book is also available on iBooks and, interestingly as a platform for e-publishing, Academia.edu.

Here’s the thinking behind my new MA in Data Journalism

A few weeks ago I announced that I was launching a new MA in Data Journalism, and promised that I would write more about the thinking behind it. Here, then, are some of the key ideas underpinning the new course — from coding and storytelling to security and relationships with industry — and how they have informed its development. Continue reading

Tap to advance: the rise and rise of the horizontal story

Snapchat's horizontal navigation

Another month, another set of new feature launches: this time the longform blogging platform Medium announcingSeries‘, a “new type of story”, then days later Facebook announcing its ‘Messenger Day‘ feature.

Last month it was Instagram‘s Carousel feature and WhatsApp‘s Status feature.

What all have in common is the almost unquestioned use of a horizontal storytelling mode: a move from scroll-based navigation to navigating through a swipe or a tap.

What does that mean for journalism and storytelling? I think it’s about time we asked. Continue reading

My online journalism Masters course is changing its name. Here’s why

telegraph-newsroom image by alex-gamela

MA student Alex Gamela took this image of the Telegraph newsroom during the first year of the MA

My MA in Online Journalism has a new name: the MA in Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism*. It’s still a course all about finding, publishing and distributing journalism online. So why the name change?

Well, because what ‘online‘ means has changed.

For the last 18 months I’ve been talking to people across the industry, reflecting on the past 7 years of teaching the MA, and researching the forthcoming second edition of the Online Journalism Handbook. Here, then, are the key conclusions I arrived at, and how they informed the new course design:

1: Adapting to new platforms is a specific skill

In the last few years a significant change has taken place. Journalism is now increasingly ‘native’, playing to the strengths of multiple platforms rather than just using them as promotional ‘channels’. It went from web and social to chat, keeps remembering email, and in the near future will take in cars, the home and other connected devices too. Continue reading

Snapchat Memories is nothing to do with memories – but it changes everything

Snapchat memories

Swipe up from the camera screen to access Snapchat Memories, then tap the camera roll option

Snapchat’s new Memories feature is being pitched as a way to share old snaps and stories — but the real change is what it means for those creating and reporting stories in the tool. Now for the first time Snapchat users can create non-chronological sequences and stories using images or video that they have not taken themselves. Continue reading

Snapchat for journalists (part 3): narrative

In the first and second parts in this series I covered different types of stories and the different tools in Snapchat. In this extract from the ebook Snapchat for Journalists I cover narrative techniques in Snapchat, including the importance of variety and thinking about beginnings, middles and endings.

Snapchat book cover

You can find more tips and examples in this ebook (also available in the Kindle Store)

Snapchat Stories: variety is key

The best stories tend to mix both images and video, have more than one person, and employ a range of different techniques.

Just as you wouldn’t write a news story which employed a quote-quote-quote structure (you might instead choose fact-quote-background), stories are more engaging when you switch from one type of content to another.

One technique, for example, is to use a still image with a caption to introduce a speaker, before moving on to a video clip of that speaker. Continue reading