Technology has undoubtedly done some amazing life changing things to the world we live in today. Enhanicng almost every aspect of it with numerous industries utilizing advances to work with their business. With no exception to journalism. Two pieces using interactive technology include Suspect America by CIR and Highrise by The National Film Board. Both of these use a different platform than the traditional newspaper to express to the public a story or an issue. But does it really work better?
Lets start with Suspect America. Depicting the post 9/11 American fight against terrorism and how it interferes with citizens freedoms through a short animation. Although it does not contain hyperlinks, or other forms of encouraging you to delve deeper into the story on the net, I found it’s simplified approach through the use of everyday examples very informative. It was useful enough for a 12 year old to use it in a school project as it presented very straightforward information. I love this new way of telling stories through videos and documentaries, they have the ability to get across a lot of information in a short amount of time. This video in particular was posted on Vimeo so therefore is also very compatible with mobile devices which is evidently a must in the world where two years olds have their own Iphone.
Now Highrise is an interactive documentary, which allows the audience to click on things and find out more information about the topic being described. Using rhyme with background music accompanying a visual, the documentary describes how we came to live in the ‘highrise apartment’, through a dense history starting back in Roman times. The only thing i found was that the clicking through to get more information was a little distracting as it would open up a new bubble which moves you away from the video, but this technique is still very useful, working similar to a hyperlink as a way to feed readers more information. This project has won numerous international awards allowing it to gain extra publicity and a wider audience.
Both of these projects utilised different aspects of interactive journalism to express to the audience an investigative journalism piece using advances in technology to enhance audience interaction and interest in the topics. Lets be realistic, how many people would’ve read a long print article on the history of building high rise apartments?