Designing tools for interactive content – for news publishers and journalists

In our journey to engage younger audiences with news, we’ve embarked on creating a platform for creating interactive stories. However, we’ve encountered concerns from publishers regarding the adoption of new formats, as revealed in our recent survey.

These concerns are rooted in a commitment to journalistic integrity. Even as we aim to captivate younger readers, it’s important not to sacrifice the principles of factual reporting, validity, and nuanced coverage.

Thus, NewsArcade needs to satisfy two different user groups.

It needs to appeal to a younger audience, but also safeguard the integrity of the news media.

As we crafted the platform, we carefully considered the requirements from publishers and journalists:

  1. The journalists should not dictate what is wrong or what is right, nor pick a favourite side/part in a given story.
  2. Any tool needs to be usable for creating many different stories.
  3. Any tool needs to be easy and fast to use.

It has been a great creative challenge to satisfy these requirements, while developing Newsarcade. We believe we cracked the code and together with the partners, we have identified that we needed to:

  • Add a “game-like” goal for the user to achieve, while still not dictating right or wrong.
  • Design the format to be reusable for many different kinds of stories.
  • Create an easy-to-understand tool that creates an interactive story with the least number of steps – to help journalists create interactive stories as quickly and painlessly as possible.

As we are coming closer to realise the first version of Newsarcade, we are really happy that we have tackled these issues, together with the partners, by:

  • Giving the user a goal, without judging the players opinions – we ask users to create an article from a certain angle (like creating a trendy or factual article). This way, we teach readers how wording and the choice of content in an article, can influence their understanding of the topic.
  • Making a template based format and flow, with the typical article structure (intro, background, conflict, outcome), that can be used in many different topics, for many different stories.
  • Implemented a streamlined CMS with a WYSIWYG interface pre-made template text, that the journalist easily can write in/copy-paste content into, to create an interactive article in less than 2 hours.

We are really looking forward to getting into a dialogue with all the journalists and publishers that are to use the Newsarcade tool and format in the future, to easily create interactive stories that can appeal to a younger audience, without compromising on the core journalistic values.
Stay tuned for updates!