From left to right: Xaquin Gonzalez Veira of Newsweek, Len DeGroot of South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Matthew Ericson of The New York Times (Photo by Eric Athas)
Matthew Ericson, deputy graphics director for The New York Times, said multimedia pieces should appeal to both the Bart and Lisa Simpsons of the world.
“Bart is a little more active,” said Ericson in front of a chuckling crowd. He said his multimedia team makes sure to provide easy, simple features (for Bart) as well as in-depth data (for Lisa). The idea is to create information graphics that are inviting too all individuals.
Ericson was joined by two other savvy graphics professionals who impressed an audience of journalists in a panel on "Integrating Multimedia in Storytelling."
The other two specialists were Xaquin Gonzalez Veira, the assistant art director for Newsweek, and Len DeGroot, the graphics director at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The panelists discussed ways they have incorporated interactive graphs and images into news stories.
Gonzalez Veira emphasized the importance of making multimedia projects into "real stories" rather than just using them to complement articles. He said if a project doesn’t have enough data incorporated in it, it’s not considered successful.
DeGroot said the Sun-Sentinel's site recently underwent a complete redesign. He said the new format allows them to share content with other Tribune publications. "We gained a lot out of this process," DeGroot said.
Gonzalez Veira analyzes his work:
In his presentation, Gonzalez Veira compared two pieces Newsweek developed. The first, a look at IEDs in Iraq, Gonzalez Veira called a "failure." He said, "We had the opportunity to make an impressive multimedia piece. We didn’t include any other thing but graphics."
The second project, which Gonzalez Veira deemed a success, was designed for the anniversary of 9/11. This piece explained how other skyscrapers around the world were built in the years after 9/11.
-- Eric Athas