Steve Buttry, Director of Community Engagement at TBD visited our class on Tuesday, March 22. He showed us a lot of great interactive sites that can be used by electronic journalists. Check out some of the links below – the stories are interesting, but the way each story is told is even more amazing!

13 Seconds in August: The 35W Bridge Collapse

  • It’s one story, made up of dozens of personal stories!
  • What can you hear? News reports, 911 calls, interviews, ambulance sirens, press conferences, police radio traffic with dispatch
  • What can you see? A combination of graphics and photographs showing the whole bridge that collapsed August 2007
  • PRO: You can start the story wherever you want – it’s a self-guided tour

As a writer in traditional journalism, you have control. But in digital storytelling, we’re sharing more control.” – Steve Buttry

Parksburg Tornado: The Aftermath

  • It consists of before, after and present pictures of homes in Parksburg, Iowa
  • A story unfolds with simple mugshots of flattened homes and footages of surveillance video cameras when the tornado occurred

You can see how a simple map and a different way about thinking about storytelling can become a different vehicle for storytelling.” – Steve Buttry

The Rise and Disappearance of Southeast Louisiana

  • It’s a reporting about what has happened to Louisiana’s land in the past

I’m a good writer, but there is no way that I could write a paragraph about the way Louisiana’s land is disappear the way the map tells the story.” – Steve Buttry

Accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

  • An interactive map that unfolds the disaster Japan is currently facing
  • Viewers have full control of what they want to see on the map by sliding the screen back and forth

Again, you have to give up some control for the users.” – Steve Buttry

Obama’s Inaugural Address

  • An image of the inauguration
  • Can find and identify people

It’s not one picture, but thousands taken with a Gigapan camera.” – Steve Buttry

Steve Buttry’s Tips and Memorable Quotes

  • “Journalists should learn some of the tools (Flash, HTML) to make their stories better.”
  • “Shifting into the unfamiliar digital territory was a little scary, but it was also exciting as hell!”
  • “You’re not going to grown or develop new skills without being uncomfortable.”
  • “It [Twitter] made me get to the point faster… It made me a better writer.”
  • “Always be curious… If a question occurs to you, ask somebody – even if you don’t speak the same language. Someone around you will help you… Ask the question, no matter how difficult it may be.”
  • “My best rule in journalism is to never say ‘No’ for somebody else.”
  • “Don’t let obstacles become excuses.”
  • “I’d rather be beaten on something that is true than spread rumors.”