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How to win at digital storytelling - Matt Frehner - Halifax NewsTrain - May 6-7, 2016

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This presentation discusses the story forms that work for mobile news readers. Matt Frehner, senior editor for mobile and interactive news at The Globe and Mail, prepared it for Halifax NewsTrain on May 6-7, 2016. It is accompanied by his handout, "Digital Mobile Storytelling." NewsTrain is a training initiative of Associated Press Media Editors (APME). More info: http://bit.ly/NewsTrain

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How to win at digital storytelling - Matt Frehner - Halifax NewsTrain - May 6-7, 2016

  1. 1. How to win at digital storytelling @mattfrehner
  2. 2. How to win at digital mobile storytelling @mattfrehner
  3. 3. What problems are we trying to solve? • We want people to read our work. • Our readers are everywhere now. Their habits are diverse and changing rapidly. • How do we attract a reader, gain their attention and cut through the noise?
  4. 4. How you tell the story will dictate whether it gets clicked, read and shared.
  5. 5. Good storytelling is still what matters most But that doesn’t mean we can keep telling stories the same way. We have to be open to new approaches.
  6. 6. We need a new toolkit Technology allows us to do so much more than just an article with an image and some links.
  7. 7. 51 per cent of the time Canadians spend online is via mobile devices
  8. 8. 81 per cent of cellphones in Canada are smartphones
  9. 9. Among Canadian newspaper readers, 3 in 10 no longer check the news on their computers
  10. 10. Going mobile means: • Audience: match the habits of mobile • Technology: needs to load quickly • Design: be readable and intuitive • Story structure: compose for a phone
  11. 11. Ask: When should we publish this story to give it the maximum chance of succeeding on mobile?
  12. 12. How to assign for mobile • Mobile is urgent, always at hand. • How should we cover: - The first second? - The first minute? - The first hour?
  13. 13. Mobile is social Most readers will never see your home page.
  14. 14. Learn to love technology • We need to understand mobile technology. • The tools you use to tell a story can help or hurt. • Prioritizing mobile means prioritizing the user experience.
  15. 15. “If you design for mobile first, you can create agreement on what matters up front.” -- Mobile First by Luke Wroblewski
  16. 16. “I told all of our product teams, when they come in for reviews: ‘Come in with mobile. If you come in and try to show me a desktop product, I’m going to kick you out.’ ”
  17. 17. Structuring stories for mobile
  18. 18. Get to the point. Brevity is key. Design for the scroll. Be linear, be logical. Write for the scanner. Grab the reader as they drift.
  19. 19. The case against ‘interactive’ journalism • Simplicity should be the default. • Your story should work everywhere. • Does it help the reader understand the story?
  20. 20. Let’s look at some examples
  21. 21. Digest bit.ly/insidebudget
  22. 22. Explainers bit.ly/toxicflint
  23. 23. Explainers bit.ly/a-bombs
  24. 24. Chart package bit.ly/budgetcheatsheet
  25. 25. What you missed bit.ly/ghomeshiverdict bit.ly/ottawaafter
  26. 26. Live (beyond the live blog)
  27. 27. Live (beyond the live blog)
  28. 28. Scrolling data story bit.ly/homerunjays
  29. 29. Slide-based graphics bit.ly/failurefactories
  30. 30. News games bit.ly/nhsquizbit.ly/stoxgame bit.ly/problemsolvingpuzzle
  31. 31. The social roundup
  32. 32. Social graphics
  33. 33. Social graphics
  34. 34. Social video bit.ly/meetbb8
  35. 35. Sometimes, all you need is one photo to reach 9 million people
  36. 36. But long reads can work, too. tgam.ca/kimschoice tgam.ca/asbestos tgam.ca/baddreamtgam.ca/savingcyla tgam.ca/confined
  37. 37. So you have the menu. How do you choose?
  38. 38. Think visual • If I could use only a few words to tell this story, how would I do it? • What is my goal?
  39. 39. Always ask: Does it make the story better?
  40. 40. Always ask: Would you share it?
  41. 41. You will fail. That’s okay. Try again.
  42. 42. How do we know if we are winning? • It’s not (just) about clicks. • Amplification: Is it being shared? • Engagement: How much time are they spending? • Loyalty: Does it make them want to come back?
  43. 43. What is success for you?
  44. 44. Let’s try it out Exercise: • How would you restructure this for mobile? • What would make it more compelling? • What other media are worth including? • Let’s mock it up on paper.
  45. 45. Let’s try it out Exercise: • What’s a story you have coming up? • Let’s brainstorm how you might cover it differently.
  46. 46. Let’s chat.

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