Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

War Without Borders: top marks

Posted in Journalism by Adam Westbrook on June 9, 2009

Tracey Boyer over at Innovative Interactivity has already written about this new interactive from the New York Times…but it’s so good, I had to write about it too.

New York Times: War Without Borders

New York Times: War Without Borders

At the centre of its sleek design: a large window, which plays a 10 minute film, broken down into 6 chapters. Each chapter tells a different part of the story so you can easily navigate through it.

If you break it right down, there’s not too much to this, visually: a map animation, some titles, one video interview, and some photographs.

But I love this because it’s not just a great piece of multimedia; it’s not just a great interactive. This is a fantastic piece of visual storytelling – and it betters anything I have seen in a TV news film for a long time. The colours, the transitions, even the map is the sexiest thing I’ve seen in ages.

Unless traditional  TV producers learn to experiment with more creative visual styles, the internet will soon become the place for great visual storytelling.

Some inspiring bits of multimedia

Posted in Journalism by Adam Westbrook on May 10, 2009

My own personal multimedia project is almost finished, nearly two months after I got back from Iraq. It’s been a real learning curve, on everything from slideshows to CSS, but the end is in sight.

In the darker moments when you wonder what you’re doing or why-the-hell why, inspiring works from other (more talented) producers is a shining light to keep you going. Here’s two gems I’ve seen in the last week.

01. Facing Deportation by Eileen Mignoni

Highlighted by Tracey Boyer at Innovative Interactivity, this student project, is a masterpiece of a myriad of journalistic skills, from photography, to map production to online design. What I love most is it’s simplicity – the design of the website is enticingly bare, and the interactive map showing deportation figures top notch.

02. Imber the Ghost Village, by Duckrabbit

I left a comment beneath this beautiful slideshow, saying I was engrossed. The almost haunting photographs and the subtle music drag you straight into this sad story of a village shut down by the MoD in the 1940s. I love a good historical yarn, and Imber certainly fits into it. There’s not a huge amount to it – just a couple of contributers, and some high quality images are all it needs to craft this wonderful story.