taxonomy of digital story packages


Online story packages usually contain multiple sections or formats and they take a variety of forms on the Internet. Some borrow heavily from old media conventions, while others try to define what kinds of storytelling are native to a digital format:

  • Some stories are presented in a linear fashion similar to narratives in traditional media like TV or radio. They may be divided into segments or chapters like a multi-part newspaper story, but the user is expected to go through the segments in a predetermined sequence. Alternatively, non-linear stories are sliced into topical segments and it's up to the user to decide how to navigate the package.
  • Placing multimedia elements in a story is approached several different ways. Sometimes text drives the story and multimedia components like video, graphics or photo slideshows are placed put off to the side. In other cases multimedia is embedded inside a text story (or even embedded in a video story as interactive elements in the video) or are part of an immersive experience.
  • In many stories one type of media is dominant, usually text or video or photo slideshows with audio, but sometimes data, graphics or games, and other media forms are secondary.  Other story packages draw on many different media forms equally, with different parts of the story told in the type of media most appropriate to that kind of content.

Here are examples of different approaches to online story packages, grouped into general categories that define how they're presented or organized, or by the type of media that is dominant in the narrative (and many of the story packages combine elements from several different categories).

Filed under: Reporting, Other