Monday, March 9, 2015

Integrated multimedia storytelling

In the past few years I've become very interested in new ways of combining interactive visualizations, infographics, video, audio, and text, an approach we used to call “integrated multimedia storytelling” a decade ago. Stories like Snow Fall and the NSA Files are good examples of this trend. The latest one I've seen was done by Matteo Moretti, a researcher at the Free University of Bolzano, and it's titled People's Republic of Bolzano. Here's how he describes it:
I worked in a team with a journalist and an anthropologist in order to open a public debate among the local community about the local Chinese community: despite the (local) media depict a "Chinese invasion", the Chinese community in Bolzano is integrated, small, and fragmented. So the aim of our project was to break the common places spread by the media, showing to the local community who the Chinese of Bolzano are, how much are they integrated, wat they think, through the interviews and through the data.
Beautiful stuff. This is what visualization* is about: Informing people by providing good evidence in an engaging manner.

(*Good journalism actually; people tend to think that journalism is just what journalists do, which isn't true at all. Anyone who gathers, processes, and delivers reliable information with the sole goal of informing her community about relevant issues is committing an act of journalism.)


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