The story caught my eye because of some innovative online elements that complimented each other perfectly. It wasn’t the first instance of cross-platform journalism, but I haven’t seen it done this well in a while and it seemed a potential model for the future.
Why it worked
- It was a story that relied on a collaboration with the guys at Scraperwiki (who really are the saviors of data-based investigative journalism, recent work includes this excellent Guardian piece on Parliamentary lobbying).
- Though not strictly a ‘news’ story, it provided both context and analysis for a larger issue (how councils could fill the holes in their budgets).
- It was interactive and personal, people could type in their postcode and see what their council owned and how it was being used.
- It was part of a much wider report called ‘Selling off Britain’, that included a live Dispatches, great looking interactive info-graphics,and even a fun and engaging online game.
As I have said previously I believe data journalism is the future, but the C4 News piece shows that for people to engage in a data story, presentation is just as important as the number-crunching.