Compelling stories: from graphic journalism to satire TV shows

Graphic News is run by a small team of Italian journalists and comic artists interested in exploring new ways of telling journalistic, non-fiction narrative stories. Their aim is to be digital-first and experiment with mobile and desktop suitable images and layouts. Graphic News visualizes in depth-stories explaining complex economic, scientific and social issues in a reader friendly way. Some of their stories include, China’s economic growth and motorcycles and the closure of Italy’s last forensic psychiatric hospitals.

Meydan TV, an independent online media platform for Azerbaijan, regularly posts satirical cartoons, which have proved very popular on social media; a caricature by Meydan’s Gunduz Aghayev reacting to the news on Georgia’s visa liberalization with the EU had almost 1 million views on Facebook.

Zambezi News uses satire to talk about everything from vote rigging to corruption in Zimbabwe. They developed a faux-news program, with three comic newscasters, which cuts between the newsroom and satirical reports from the field, and features a string of outrageous characters and skits. Six million Zimbabweans have viewed the show — initially they publicized it through community radio stations, activist groups, social media and YouTube, and, on request they produced 10,000 DVDs to distribute them to people in towns and villages across Zimbabwe.

Hackastory, a Netherland-based journalism start-up founded by a journalist, a developer and a transmedia academic, does not produce its own stories. Instead, it encourages other journalists to find new perspectives and creative ideas. Hackastory’s mission is to empower cross-professional collaboration in digital storytelling through experimenting and learning by doing approach. To do this, Hackastory organizes storytelling hackathons around the world, bringing together journalists, developers and designers who have two days to produce a project (prototype).

CORRECT!V, an innovative, data-driven, investigative reporting newsroom based in Germany, experiments with various ways of story-telling, fusing “classical” investigative journalism, technology, digital tools and art. They produced a powerful graphic novel — “Weisse Wölfe“ (White Wolves) — which illustrates the investigation by David Schraven and Jan Feindt into a gang of Nazi extremists from the Ruhr area that gradually uncovered their international links. The printed version was initially distributed for free and, when the team realized its success, a new print-run was ordered which sold out in a matter of days.