Intro to Online Explanatory Journalism

Explanatory Journalism – “illuminates a significant and complex subject…with lucid writing and clear presentation”

Like aggregation, curation, and verification, explanatory reporting is increasingly becoming a priority for journalists. And digital-first publications are reinventing the traditional storytelling forms of explanatory reporting. is a great example of an online publication built around explanatory journalism
Vox Media – Wikipedia
Vox explained
Three standard Vox explainers: Videos, Maps and Card Stacks

Examples to begin: Explore these 2016 OJA finalists for Explanatory Reporting:

And EVEN MORE examples:

Some standard types of online news explainers:

Explanatory video – Often combines graphics, still shots, animation and voice-over to explain a complex current event or topic. (See Vox videos)

Map – For topics with a geographic focus. Often shows how residents of different locations experience or view something in different ways. (See Vox maps)

Timeline – Useful for demonstrating progression or change over time. Also to chronicle the life of a person or institution.

Graphs and charts – Useful for complex information that can be best presented visually rather than with text. Also allows user to delve into particular details of data. (See many examples in Vox card stacks. Also in data journalism publications like FiveThirtyEight and Upshot.

Lists – A simple way to organize or rate a topic by breaking it into a numbered list. Often incorporates photos or videos. (See many examples in Vox card stacks)

Notes from our class discussion:


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