Susie Cagle’s unique mix of opinionated but explanatory illustration and text defies easy formal categorization, but it’s truly native to the web, gifs and all. These pieces earned links and praise at the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wired, Marketplace, and elsewhere in 2014, in no small part for their experimentation with form.
While these pieces certainly have a point of view, they’re also deeply researched and reported. Medium’s content management system allows for in-line citations that most writers use as a comment feed for reader feedback. Instead, Cagle uses this feature to footnote her work with source links, as readers can sometimes be skeptical of the veracity of illustrated work. Where there is a footnote, you’ll see a small gray speech balloon just to the right of the text or image — click there and the sources will appear in the right-hand column.