Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Show Me The Next strips down online reading and discovery to their most basic components
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
April 9, 2014, 2:08 p.m.
Reporting & Production
LINK: knightlab.northwestern.edu  ➚   |   Posted by: Justin Ellis   |   April 9, 2014

Big events — Super Bowls, the Oscars, the Olympics — are when media companies want to make sure their interactive features shine the brightest. The Olympics, in particular, are an interesting case because they last over the course of two weeks rather than one night, which means newsrooms need a continuous coverage plan in place for interactives.

sochi-olympics-logoAt The New York Times, the graphics team put together an entirely new system and set of workflows to create interactive features, including videos, photo composites, and more to cover the Sochi Winter Olympics.

At Knight Lab, Times graphics editors Wilson Andrews and Larry Buchanan explain how the planning paid off in covering the events live:

The group was divided into five three-person teams of visual journalists. Each team was assigned to an event to cover and began with an intense research and pre-reporting process in the weeks before the games. Andrews, whose team focused on figure skating, said that each journalist aimed to be as educated with their designated sport as possible before the event. They contacted sources (usually experts or ex-Olympians) with whom they would speak right before and immediately after the event so that each composite would be accompanied by thorough reporting and analysis right away.

During the events themselves, members of the team in Sochi would shoot the event and run the images through a Photoshop script they’d written prior to the games, said Larry Buchanan, a Times graphics editor. The script detected the differences between images and created a composite that was “80 percent” there, Buchanan said.

They also built a variety of modules beforehand to create composites, diptychs, or finisher’s graphics depending on the sport. One of the reasons the team was able to get the graphics up so quickly is because their system allowed them to work as a singular unit.

Here’s an example of one of those composites — cooler, bigger version here:

nyt-shiffrin-composite-850x658

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Show Me The Next strips down online reading and discovery to their most basic components
“I think there is room for niche, monkish austerity.”
From Nieman Reports: Why news outlets are watching India’s next billion Internet users
“I can think of a billion reasons why it’s in the interests of news outlets to overcome barriers of language, literacy, and relatively low-end tech.”
Newsonomics: 10 headlines we may see this fall about the future of news
From pipes to platforms, overseas to over-the-top, the shifts we’ll see in the remainder of 2015 will set the stage for 2016 and beyond.
What to read next
2577
tweets
The New York Times built a Slack bot to help decide which stories to post to social media
The bot, named Blossom, helps predict how stories will do on social and also suggests which stories editors should promote.
1310Jo Ellen Green Kaiser: Do independent news outlets have a blind spot when it comes to ethnic media?
The head of the Media Consortium argues that, by defining themselves in opposition to mainstream media, independent progressive outlets miss out on the power of ethnic and community journalism.
1029Newsonomics: 10 numbers on The New York Times’ 1 million digital-subscriber milestone
Digital subscribers are proving to be the bedrock of the Times’ business model going forward. How much more room is there for growth — and at what price points?
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Fuego is our heat-seeking Twitter bot, tracking the links the future-of-journalism crowd is talking about most on Twitter.
Here are a few of the top links Fuego’s currently watching.   Get the full Fuego ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
McClatchy
FiveThirtyEight
The Christian Science Monitor
Backfence
The Daily
InvestigateWest
West Seattle Blog
Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
The Daily Voice
Sacramento Press
San Diego News Network
Chicago Tribune