It’s not a secret: making stories more visual attracts readers while enhancing the content. These two reports remind us how true that is.
In the past few days, we have seen two reports that highlight the importance of presenting stories in a more visual manner.
First, The New York Times’ own internal report, in which those involved concluded that :
“The report needs to become more visual. The Times has an unparalleled reputation for excellence in visual journalism. We have defined multimedia storytelling for the news industry and established ourselves as the clear leader. Yet despite our excellence, not enough of our report uses digital storytelling tools that allow for richer and more engaging journalism. Too much of our daily report remains dominated by long strings of text.”
Second, the release of the 8th annual world news media innovation study, from the Innovation Research Group (IRG) and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). In that study, respondents “overwhelmingly identified editorial and products as the key areas for investment in the next year. These opportunities were seen as a much greater priority than more people-oriented efforts such as restructuring, working across organizations boundaries and developing their sales team.”
The study cited two top priorities for publishers to consider: Develop new products within the media sector and and generate more visual content.
I agree with these assertions and hope that more publishers, editors and designers will sharpen their pencils, take a look at what they do with storytelling at their publications, and start creating better and more visual storytelling strategies. It all begins with a look at how stories are presented on mobile devices. Concentrate on that article page and it could be more powerful, easier to navigate and with innovative story forms that do not rely solely on the traditional structures of headlines, summary and text.
The New York Times Newsroom Report 2017
Innovation in news media: Five Key Findings
Digital Design Challenge: Those article pages move up front