At The Wall Street Journal, the past 12 months have been some of the most exciting in our 125-year history. We’ve reinvented the way we tell stories, using new digital tools that marry our traditions of in-depth reporting, breaking news and thoughtful analysis with compelling interactive formats that break down boundaries between readers and the information they need.
The results are transforming the ways our readers learn about the world through our content. A few examples:
We’ve fundamentally changed the way we work. We’ve moved our digital newsdesk to the center of our newsroom, built new teams for data-driven investigative reporting and immersive storytelling, bolstered our staff of developers and designer and reoriented our workflow around changing news cycles.
The Wall Street Journal is committed to building a digital future around the original reporting that underpins accountability journalism. Our global staff of 1,800 journalists do the rigorous daily work of providing coverage of corporations, governments, societies and cultures, setting the foundation for all our digital storytelling.
Interactive storytelling draws readers into stories and topics
A sampling of our interactive showcases our commitment to helping readers understand complex and unfamiliar topics in new ways.
In addition to the tool for comparing the prices of Affordable Care Act plans – and “Prescribed,” a personalized interactive tour of the new healthcare law — we built a modern, mobile friendly hub for our WSJ/NBC news poll data.
Previously, we had simply created custom charts from the findings and listed links to PDF files. Now, the information is easy to read, scan and share. We also created an editor’s dashboard to generate custom charts for ongoing stories in the weeks after a poll release.
And when Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba announced plans for an IPO, we produced an interactive that combined graphics, written profiles, graphics to introduce the rest of the world to the company.
Richness and depth compliment thoughtful, evocative writing
Our journalists frequently get incomparable access to sources, data, media and other information that, over time, creates an opportunity to tell stories in great detail by creating an immersive experience for the reader.
The Wall Street Journal has worked to build – and continually develop – a platform for telling these stories. “Lobotomy Files” was one of our most important efforts of the last 12 months, but it was one of several:
Tools and platforms enhance storytelling, collaborating
While we’re always working to discover and learn about new storytelling tools, we also try to constantly refine the ones we’ve used for years to better serve readers.
Social media, for example, is always a key to our distribution strategy, but we now use it increasingly for pure collaboration. In addition to the Book Club, we’ve worked closely with Spreecast to create real-time interactive videos that let readers discuss news and topics with our journalists live and on the screen. Some of those videos, particularly ones with our Chief Economics Correspondent John Hilsenrath, have kept thousands engaged with us for long periods of time as the discussion progresses and readers share questions and comments online.
Newsletters also continue to be a priority for our readers who want timely, carefully crafted summaries of important events and topics. Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker launched “The 10-Point,” a popular daily guide to our best stories and scoops, offering unusual access to the perspective of a newsroom leader.
Finally, we introduced four new storytelling templates that help us quickly communicate important concepts to readers (they are collected in once place on our Briefly blog):