Gulf Oil Package Dazzles

19 Oct

I clicked on an article today on the CNN homepage that caught my attention, entitled “Sixth Months Later, What Did We Learn From the Oil Spill?” I always like reading after-the-fact, analytical pieces, and I expected the article to be a well written, comprehensive hindsight piece, perhaps with a timeline. I should have known that CNN would do better than that.

The content package was more than impressive. The article? Thorough and intelligent, it was superbly written and discusses spill prevention and emergency relief. The timeline? Comprehensive, detailed and filled with photos and video, it contains exact numbers regarding the size of the spill on each date provided.

But there’s more. The feature “Depths of Disaster” provides all of the data, numbers and figures that you could ever want to know regarding the spill. The top of the page reads: “Day 183” and continually counts the days that have passed since the oil spill; it contains graphs and charts measuring the barrels that have penetrated the sea, counts down the billions of dollars lost to Gulf Coast Travel and contains panoramic images of the Gulf. The feature “iReport” contains journals of those who are in the Gulf currently, and the feature entitled “Map: What’s Been Hit” contains an interactive map that depicts all sightings.

This entire package struck me as amazing, mostly because of its utmost thoroughness but also because of its interactivity. The “Depths of Disaster” really drove the point home that this spill was absolutely catastrophic and unrivaled. It also showed how effective multimedia can be on news websites when done right… and CNN continues to do it right, with its content packages going above and beyond when it comes to ongoing news stories

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2 Responses to “Gulf Oil Package Dazzles”

  1. saecho October 20, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    The interactive graphic is awesome! It gives a sense of time, geography, as well as webcam detail…

    I think you should’ve definitely included a screen shot of that so your readers don’t have to click-through to see what you’re talking about.

    Pictures are also a great way to break up longer paragraphs.

  2. gillianrich October 20, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    I really liked the graphics of the “Depth of Disaster” piece. Sometimes is hard to understand what all those huge numbers mean, like millions of gallons or hundredsof meters below the ocean surface etc, but the graphics make those numbers a lot easier for you to get your head around it.

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