Mid-session break gave us a chance to look at various examples of interactive storytelling that have been critically acclaimed. Some were fantastic examples of journalistic pieces that combine emotional connection and learning opportunities, whilst others were far too busy and did not enable any reflection throughout the piece.
Best of the Best
Firestorm, an interactive piece by The Guardian, tells the story of Tim and Tammy Holmes and their children in their ordeal against a raging fire that destroyed the Tasmanian town of Dunalley. The piece enables the audience to scroll through in time sequence order, beginning with the morning before the fire and ending with the aftermath and rebuilding process. Each chapter, with six in total, combines video, audio, imagery and words to fully encapsulate the story being told. The incorporation of the ambient sound alongside the moving pictures sets the scene for each segment. The piece, however, does not only contain the story of the Homes family; Firestorm also provides opportunity for learning about the natural phenomenon that is fire. With reference to academics that enhance the credibility of the piece, the Guardian have provided a highly interactive and engaging piece that truly encapsulates the Australian spirit, and therefore has been successful in creating an audience for itself.
Worst of the Worst
Maybe WORST is a little too harsh. However, an opinion is an opinion. Highrise, by the Canadian National Film Board, is the continual story of the Skyscraper (or highrise building) over numerous years within society. The series is very busy, with many many sections that then lead to more sections which then have more videos and links to other sections. It is ALOT to take in for the average reader, and unless you have a very long attention span, odds are you will probably zone out after 5 minutes. There is no doubt that the piece is a fantastic example of interactive and multi-media journalism, however if they were to tone it down even just a little, it would be that much more effective and resonate with a much wider audience.