The Mario Blog
Trump, lies and storytelling

I continue to be a loyal student of The New York Times and how it experiments with various story formats. Take a look at this one about President Trump’s confirmed lies since he took office in January 2017.

First, there was Sex, Lies and Videotape, a 1989 Steven Sonderbergh movie.  Today, there is President Trump and the subject of lies, a recurring theme daily in the media.

So, welcome to Trump, lies and storytelling

Now The New York Times, which continues to pursue experimentation via storytelling, provides us with a story that is rich in content—the Times calls it the “definitive” list of Trump’s lies.  The New York Times  has definitely assembled a hand list for anyone who would like to see all the he said, he lied documentation in one place. While I have learned about most of these “lies” here and there, I was a bit shocked with the massive presentation of all of them in one place.

I agree with William Hughes, of AV Club, who writes:

“Anyway, this isn’t anything we didn’t necessarily know; it’s just nice (?) to have the lies, and the subsequent fact-checking disproving them, all tied up in one neat, depressing bow.”

But for writer and visual designers, there is more than the content here. It is the way it has been presented.  The first screen carries a large, bold headline, Trump Lies, followed by a paragraph that describes what’s to come.  After that, don’t expect a traditional lead paragraph. Instead, the visual storyteller has opted for dates of the calendar, in bold, red caps, to tie the date and the lie, starting with January 21, one day after President Trump took office:




Timelines and quotes are used very effectively to deal with the lies attached to one specific topic, such as when Trump said that China stopped manipulating its currency:



Subheads are used to advance the story, followed by carefully crafted calendar graphics color coded to indicate the days of the month when Trump told a public lie (orange) and when he didn’t (gray):



Those calendar graphics are then expanded, to add information via those arrows on top of specific days:


And the print edition version


TheMarioBlog post #2658

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