Guardian U.S. interactive editor Gabriel Dance spoke with Nieman Journalism Lab’s Justin Ellis about using a range of storytelling tools for the multimedia project NSA Files: Decoded.
For every single bit of it, I could go through and say the challenges of all these things working in concert to tell a larger narrative. And I think that’s actually what distinguishes Decoded. What I told somebody the other day was: This is a web-only project, wherein we’re using all the Internet mediums available. GIFs, video, interactives, maps — all of that, hopefully seamlessly throughout.
That’s where I think the difference between it and any other projects lie. This piece was designed to be read, or consumed, as a whole. You can’t take the writing out of it and have it work the same. You can’t take the videos out of it and have it work. You can’t take out the graphics and have it work. It’s meant to be consumed as an entire project, with all these different parts being seen, seamlessly, to one another. It’s actually a giant fucking metaphor for what we were talking about before with journalism. It’s all journalism. It’s just being told in different methods.