Visual storytelling online

May 7, 2009 at 10:18 pm (Uncategorized)

In 1999, Fred Ritchin created PixelPress. PixelPress works with humanitarian groups to eradicate polio, explain humanitarian law, and explore the juvenile justice system. PixelPress also publishes an online journal which received the Pictures of the Year International award for best multimedia publication (small circulation) in 2003.

He has discussed efficient ways of creating visual storytelling online.  The digital environment is composed of “discrete chunks” meaning online multimedia should be treated differently than in a continuous analog one.  Storytelling on the web should be more like a conversation which can be achieved by using hypertext.  The narrative moves in different directions like taking hypertext links to move through a story.

Ritchin believes that what is missing from a lot of the journalism done today is perspective.

“I started to understand journalism the day I left it,” he said.

Online news serves as a search function instead of being used to browse topics.  A browser friendly website can give voice to the subjects of the piece in a way that traditional pages cannot.

Ritchin proposes that images used online should have a four corner system in which each of the corners contextualizes the image in some way.  For example, the top right corner may show an image of what happened before the dominant image occurred.

The idea is to give the reader a more interactive view of the subject to keep them engaged in the story.

These tips are helpful in designing blogs.

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