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2016 Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Large Newsroom winner

Visual Digital Storytelling from The Wall Street Journal

About the Project

The Wall Street Journal continued to innovate with visual digital storytelling this year by investing in virtual reality, 3D modeling, big data, interactive video, and unique visuals that explain the world to readers in ways that can’t be accomplished with text alone.

1. Blue Feed, Red Feed (May 18, 2016)

As concern grew over Facebook “echo chambers,” where users see posts only from like-minded friends and media sources, WSJ created an original tool that gave a side-by-side look at real conversations from both sides of the political spectrum.

2. How Trump Happened (Jan. 26, 2016)

Donald Trump did something rare in politics: created a new coalition of voters. Back in January, as the paths to the Republican nomination began to take shape, we explained how he formed this coalition. We created a data-driven visualization that used groups of voters—each supporting different Republican candidates—moving around a digital room. This breathed new life into the data in a way no one has seen before, yet it was instantly understandable.

3. Virtual Reality: Behind the Scenes with a Ballerina (Nov. 4, 2015)

In November, we launched this feature, which made us the first news organization to support virtual reality and 360° video across all platforms. As all VR on mobile requires an in-app experience, we created our very own VR/360° video player and placed it directly into our flagship WSJ app. By enabling instantaneous WiFi streaming, we were able to frictionlessly deliver this capability to the millions of people on mobile and seamlessly present the content within articles—instead of asking viewers to download separate apps or files in order to view the content. Not wanting to ignore our desktop visitors, we provided draggable 360° video and Oculus support in conjunction with third party Vrideo.

4. Are You Good Enough to be a Line Judge? (May 18, 2016)

This U.S. Open project combines video with interactivity to make a unique mobile-first web game that puts readers in the shoes of tennis judges. We track user guesses to produce comparisons against other readers, giving immediate feedback.

5. Downhills at the Tour de France (July 1, 2015)

This immersive presentation combines video, animated 3D renderings and interactive graphics into a compelling story about Tour de France cyclists.

  • A custom 3D rendering combines topological data with a satellite imagery to demonstrate the peaks and valleys of this challenging course
  • An HTML5-powered annotated video (“Inside the Peloton”) combined real physiological response data with headcam video during tense twists and turns on the course.