The New York Times, “Snow Fall” and Times Magazine’s, “Heln’s First Year” are two articles that use visually interactive methods to present their respective topics. While both informative stories, they maintain the reader’s engagement with the groundbreaking use of digital aesthetics.
The “Snow Fall” article shows an aerial view of the cascades in a virtual image that weaves through the landscape showing each mountain, and their specific names labeled. It also includes video of a skier in action and one skier recounting her traumatic accident on a slope. Through the use of these visual aids, the dangerous yet beautiful aspects of the ski slopes are nuanced.
“Heln’s First Year” is an article consisting of a series of photos, videos, and text messages exchanged between the Journalist and a Syrian mother who is raising her newborn baby Heln in a refugee camp all the while seeking asylum in Europe.
While the earlier published “Snow Fall”, first of its kind, has a lot of information along with the visual effects, the “Heln” story has virtually no text aside from the text messages, photo captions, and small excerpts detailing the timeline of the mother and Heln’s activity. Scrolling down the page, there is a solid white line that follows simultaneously down the middle, illustrating the time passing.
Both articles are examples of thoughtful storytelling that provoke emotion. The topics that each article touches on could easily be print copies or standard web articles for each publication because they are intriguing in and of itself but the choice to take this direction truly challenges convention. These are but two examples of many that solidify the inevitability of a new, technological age of Journalism.