2016 Gannett Foundation Award for Technical Innovation in the Service of Digital Journalism finalist


About the Project

Multimedia storytelling tool Shorthand was set up to empower storytellers to unleash their creativity, to tell stories in powerful, visually-compelling ways, and not be limited by the boundaries of their CMS.

Shorthand makes it easy to create media-rich, full-screen stories, that are fully responsive, and can even be tailored for mobile, without any coding whatsoever.

The stories created are highly engaging, with the ability to integrate autoplay video and interactive effects with ease. Customers report boosts in dwell time engagement of between 400 percent and 1000 percent compared to more standard formats.

For commercial teams within publishers it also offers a high-quality treatment that appeals to advertisers and brands, and opens up new creative revenue opportunities.

The stories are exported from Shorthand and hosted on the storyteller’s own servers, and can be launched from within their own CMS. This is a key part of the offering, because unlike most other storytelling solutions, those who use Shorthand keep control of their stories.

Shorthand is already used by leading news and media organisations across the world, including the BBC, the Guardian, the Telegraph, Hearst Magazines UK, Fairfax Media, News Corp, SBS, WBEZ and Mansion Global. Our Pinterest board shows just some of the other stories that have been created.

Using Shorthand saves time and money, with story creation cut down from weeks and months, to days or just a matter of hours. This frees up developer time for other requirements, or to carry out bespoke work on Shorthand stories.

It also allows the journalist to put their focus back on the story, rather than finding ways to work around the limitations of their CMS and corralling development resources.

You can access case studies and testimonials on our website, where many of our users have shared their thoughts on the difference Shorthand has made to their storytelling, and their jobs.

Shorthand launched out of beta on Monday 23 May 2016, opening up self-serve for the first time, allowing any professional storyteller to set up an account directly from the website and start creating, and publishing stories, instantly.

In Shorthand you pay to export and publish stories, with monthly and annual subscriptions available, as well as per-story pricing.

Shorthand was established as a company in Australia in February 2013, and today has offices in Australia and the UK, with plans to land in New York in July 2016.

While we have an impressive client list, in name and size, we are a startup, with a passionate and innovative team of four developers, one designer and a two-person sales, support and training team, all led by CEO Ricky Robinson.