taxonomy of digital story packages

Visual Narratives

These are stories in which the main narrative is either a video or a photo slideshow with audio. The story can be a single video or slideshow or it can be divided into multiple parts. Either way it is almost always presented as a linear narrative.

Here are some examples: 

The Serengeti Lion
Serengeti Lion

The Serengeti Lion is a National Geographic feature produced on August 2, 2013, that is a series of full screen photos about 24 different aspects of the life of the African lion. You scroll horizontally through the photos, each of which can be clicked on to display a photo gallery or play a video or audio clip with more information about that part of the lion's life. Text is limited to just headers for each segment.

Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt

Planet Money T-Shirt
Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt was produced by NPR in December 2013 and goes through five steps for making a t-shirt, from picking the cottom to selling a shirt to you. It was funded by a Kickstarter campaign that raised $600,000.
The main section of each chapter is a video story. But at the end of each video, a longer explanatory text story opens that has background information on and a more complete description of that stage of the t-shirt making process. The text story also includes graphics and photos.
Combining the video with a related text story is similar to the interactive video approach described in the next section of this guide. But interactive videos are designed to have people select or view other multimedia elements like text as the video plays, rather than viewing them after the video finishes as in the Planet Money story.
Sources and Resources for Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt
Gun Country

Gun Country

Gun Country, produced by the New York Times in December 2013, is a series of seven photo-audio slideshows in which people describe their personal relationships to guns and how they have affected their lives. You scroll down the page from one story to the next, and when you select a slideshow it plays nearly full screen.

Our Dreams Are Different

Our Dreams Are Different

Our Dreams Are Different was produced by visual communications students at the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University in 2011. It is part of the Soul of Athens project began in 2007, which documented what made life unique in Athens, Georgia.

Our Dreams are Different is a package of 16 stories, produced as videos or photo slideshows, that explore how the American dream changed for people in Athens in 2011.



MediaStorm, founded by Brian Storm, specializes in high quality visual narratives produced for the web or other digital devices.

Sources and Resources for MediaStorm



Newsbound is a format for visual storytelling that combines photos, graphics, animations and text in a slideshow "stack."