Journalists have more options than ever to tell great stories online. But even as multimedia skills become more sophisticated, newsrooms are focusing on just a handful of approaches because they seem to be most effective. That’s the conclusion of a terrific review in OJR by Nora Paul and Laura Ruel of the Society for News Design’s Best of Multimedia Design Competition . So what are infotoys and BOPs?
They’re two of the five approaches the authors found to be most common in multimedia storytelling:
- Animated infographics–“Graphics that explain a sequence of events in an accident, or the steps in a process or show how something works” like the New York Times graphic on Cory Lidle’s plane crash.
- Infotoys–“Data you can play with” like the Indianapolis Star’s statistical look at the Colts football team.
- Narratives–“Self-contained packages that follow a single – somewhat linear – narrative thread” like the Palm Beach Post’s story about trainjumping.
- You are there–“High level graphics and embedded POV/panoramic images” like the El Pais introduction to Formula 1 racing.
- BOPs (Big Ole Packages!)–“Large compilations of storytelling materials such as the text, videos, audio slide shows, animated graphics and interactive applications” like the St. Petersburg Times’ report on vanishing wetlands.
Read the complete review for more details, and think about how you might use each of these approaches in your next multimedia story.