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2020 Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Large Newsroom finalist

The Designs Vary. The Technology is New. The Ambition is the Same.

About the Project

Innovation at The New York Times is built on leveraging a diverse group of talents against the moments in the news cycle that best benefit from such a combination.

  • The technological innovation of “How the Virus Got Out,” creating a custom 3-D scene that allows for transitions between visual forms that would not have been possible even five years ago, showing the flow of coronavirus in China in one frame and a living flow map of the entire world in the next.
  • The innovation in applied technology of “This 3-D Simulation Shows Why Social Distancing Is So Important,” putting a six-foot circle into augmented reality as an act of public service, creating an infographic that can live alongside you in the real world where you really need it.
  • The explanatory innovation of “When Lawmakers Try to Ban Assault Weapons, Gunmakers Adapt,” bringing a gun to life to show how it works from the inside out, closing the loop on modern diagrammatic storytelling through the use of animation.
  • The innovation in applied computer science it took to produce “The Great Flood of 2019: A Complete Picture of a Slow-Motion Disaster,” processing roughly two terabytes of satellite imagery, leveraging a cloud infrastructure to set up a computing cluster of 16 machines working in parallel to create a single image of flooding across the Midwest and the South.
  • Or the visual innovation found in “Hong Kong: A City Divided,” finding a way to take you closer to unrest than satellite imagery or even on-the-ground protest photography can go, by reimagining the role of portraiture in news.

If you were to look back on the state of visual journalism at The New York Times during this period, you would find that it was defined by a push for fresh takes on old techniques and ambitious new approaches to storytelling.