For all the stories of gutted newsrooms and struggling newspapers, there’s still an awful lot of innovation coming out of journalism.
Staffed as they are with storytellers, writers, and illustrators, newsrooms can offer marketers and content creators a lot of storytelling inspiration.
Here are two of my recent favorites.
The Boston Globe‘s Metro section published Finding Home, a story about a stray Yorkie on the lam in Milton, Massachusetts.
The tiny beast was slippery: He repeatedly evaded authorities (ducking through a tiny hole in a fence, impossibly scaling a wall).
The antagonist is the animal-control officer, “Ms. Bersani.” Already, you can see how this thing just wrote itself…
A Globe editor had heard about the dog on Facebook, and over three weeks reporter Dugan Arnett and illustrator Yan Wu collaborated to fashion a scrolling story (using a platform called Scrollytelling), creating a watercolor map of the pup’s travels.
Takeaway for marketers, adapted from Poynter: We can do extraordinary things, even on the seemingly most routine stories, if we can imagine beyond standard storytelling and presentation platforms.
That’s the question The Washington Post wanted students to answer. So the newspaper set up a phone voicemail and invited students to call in to talk about student safety in the aftermath of the attacks in Parkland, Florida. Roughly 300 did.
The Post selected eight of the voicemails to present simply, using still portraits and audio overlay.
Takeaway for marketers: Set aside the politics of a topic, and focus on the simple brilliance of combining audio and human (“user-generated”) stories in an interactive wrapper for next-level storytelling.
Inspiration can come from unlikely places.
And sometimes, it comes at you… every morning.