Why I think animated news is the future of journalism

Posted: March 27, 2013 by jennroig in Academia, Commentary, English
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Catch you? Well, let’s clarify: I don’t believe animated news is the only future of all journalism, but I do believe it’ll grow as a trend and will be pervasive in the next decades.

(NMA.tv) Jen-Jen and Vanessa, the anchors

(NMA.tv) Jen-Jen and Vanessa, the anchors

So, I received a few days ago a cheery mail from a friend who told me that he had been granted an offer to work with the animated news, after a careful selection process. He reminded me of an occasion, a few years ago, when we were studying our masters in Germany together, and we gathered for a lunch or a coffee and I asked him what his plans for the future were in terms of work. I now remember vaguely that I found quite interesting his idea of working for an organization with animated news, although he was still thinking about “traditional” journalism. I encouraged him to pursue the dream anyway, because the guy is basically a genius, wasted in journalism, so able to conquer any job he wants, even though he doesn’t believe it himself.

I am not sure when he gave his presentation on this channel, it was for a class, whether before or after this meeting, it’s blurry in my mind. But apparently, I said then that I considered these project kind of the future of journalism. And he said he quoted me saying this during a couple of his job interviews.

Needless to say, I’m super happy he got the job, and my ego is bursting after such clever guy described me as “a visionary journalist from Cuba”. He is from Taiwan by the way, and I would dare to say that a clever guy from Taiwan is seriously clever.

This was the clip he used to show us the work of this animated news channel, NMA.tv from Taiwan.

So, why I do believe this kind of project will stick to the way we do and consume journalism?

Many reasons,

1- It uses the sabe visual resources as video games, and with time, main audiences will be precisely those who grew up with this kind of referent.

2- It doesn’t depend on the lack of images. When I was working in TV, I don’t know how many times I found on the wires an interesting and smart news item that I couldn’t use because my editor made me notice the huge inconvenience, the lack of visuals, “there’s nothing you can show and this is TV”. Instead, I had to go for a dummy recollection of boring events to complete the time that I needed to consume for the newscast. Well, with this, the reporter doesn’t need to stop because of this minor detail anymore. The animations will do the job!

Yes, right now I can hear many purists protesting and claiming that this can’t be journalism, because it’s not accurate, you can’t trust it, there’s no evidence that the image is true! Come on! Journalism is older than photography and obviously video! The newspapers show illustrations before they could include photos. And it’s the same concept. Trust doesn’t stem from an image, not at this point in history when we all know how images can be altered, and twisted and manipulated. We will trust in the honesty, efficacy, and honorability of the reporter and the network.

3- Let’s face it, media will converge, massively. What we are witnessing now, media such as The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, Reuters or Bloomberg posting text, videos, graphs and galleries is just a preview of what is coming. I was reading the other day that students have changed the way they understand professional development: they no longer believe it’s about stepping up, but about mastering multiple skills and acquiring all possible knowledge. In terms of journalism, we know if we don’t keep up with changes, learning how to handle every possible media, we’ll be out of the game in no time.

4- And with the convergence of media, animation will rise as one more option, funnier, easier to handle, very illustrative, and without the inconvenience of whether you are breaking or not the law.

Let’s be clear, this is nothing new. This just will grow bigger and widespread.

Check the report about the issue of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, ex IMF Director, about the allege attempt of rape of a hotel maid.

And this other, about Bin Laden’s death

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