Now on Creatavist: “What Hadn’t Happened,” Erin Anderson’s audio story about a tragic family secret.
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Original nonfiction stories for tablets and phones, and a software platform to tell your own. Visit our website
Jörgits combines “whiz-bang multimedia and old-school textual immersion” in an interactive children’s novel.
Photojournalists from around the globe have begun using Instagram as an important part of their storytelling, using the intimacy and immediacy of mobile photography to open up new avenues of engagement with their audiences.
To tune into the news as it unfolds, be sure to follow these photojournalists:
- Michael Christopher Brown, documents life in Congolese refugee camps — @michaelchristopherbrown
- Ben Lowy, a conflict and feature photographer based in New York City — @benlowy
- Phil Moore, a British photojournalist based in East Africa — @philmoorephoto
- Kevin Frayer, the chief photographer for the Associated Press in South Asia — @kevinfrayer
- Ivan Kashinsky, a freelance photographer based in Quito, Ecuador — @ivankphoto
- Michael Yamashita, a documentary photographer for National Geographic specializing in Asia — @yamashitaphoto
You should head over to the Armageddon Letters, an amazing transmedia project that takes you inside the Cuban missile crisis.
It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name — modern slavery.
Human trafficking was not something I knew much about before starting production on the Atavist story Stowaway. Stowaway is the journey of a young boy we call Fanuel who was a victim of trafficking. At the age of eight he became an orphan and lived on the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, until a stranger befriended him and offered him a better life in South Africa. His “better” life was as a domestic servant for the man, who beat him, broke his promise to send Fanuel to school, and threatened to turn him in to the authorities if he tried to leave. We call it an “enhanced e-comic” because it’s a nonfiction comic that comes with a soundtrack and interactive features.
As for the rest, you’ll have to read the story! It costs $2.99, which gets you access to both the Web version AND the iPad/iPhone App version. It’s a collaboration between renowned nonfiction comics artist Josh Neufeld and investigative reporter Tori Marlan, who first met Fanuel in 2006. Marlan, a longtime friend of Neufeld, had never worked on a graphic novel but felt like it was a good fit for Fanuel’s dramatic story. “There is something about the comics medium that connects you with the experience of the characters,” says Neufeld. There’s a sense of intimacy. I certainly felt it while working on Stowaway, in a way that I hadn’t quite experienced before. It also raises some interesting questions about the collision of art and journalism, which Marlan and Neufeld address in some behind-the-scenes extras, available via the App.
Listen to Marlan and Neufeld on Public Radio International’s The World.
—Olivia Koski, Senior Producer
The Future of Digital Publishing: A Book You Need to Read on The Street
The former publisher of San Francisco’s indie literary magazine and book press McSweeney’s, along with fellow McSweeney’s veteran Russell Quinn and writers Matthew Derby and Kevin Moffett, has created a new form of storytelling: a geo-located mobile serialized story that will launch in late August and run for a year.
Note: This is the first in a series of posts that will take you behind-the-scenes at The Atavist. In the coming months, our authors, editors, producers, and developers will bring you inside the brave new world of multimedia publishing.
My first day at The Atavist was March 7, 2011. This was way before we had offices with fancy things like desks and computers. In those days, co-founders Evan Ratliff and Jeff Rabb worked from home, and when they needed to have meetings, they congregated at Henry Public in Cobble Hill.
A few weeks before, Nick Thompson, another co-founder, had sent me an email about working at The Atavist. I was a recent graduate from New York University’s science reporting graduate program, which I had attended after a career as a laser engineer. Nick hired me to work as an intern at Wired the summer before, shortly before he left for a position at the New Yorker.
My interview was held down the street from Henry Public at Strong Place. It was funny to find Evan, who had been the target of a nation-wide manhunt during his Vanish days, hanging out at a local Brooklyn bar. I had heard a little bit about The Atavist, and enjoyed reading the first two stories, Evan’s Swedish heist piece Lifted and Brendan Koerner’s Piano Demon. I was particularly struck by Piano Demon, the story of forgotten jazz legend Teddy Weatherford, because of its beautiful soundtrack. The piano tunes that streamed out of my iPhone when I opened the piece immediately transported me to a different time and place.
We discussed many things during my interview that evening, but mostly I remember being energized by the ideas, perspective, and intelligence of the three Atavist founders. I was thrilled at the prospect of being a part of something unique in the journalism world.
The work had only just begun.
—Olivia Koski, Senior Producer
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post reported that my interview was held at Henry Public. Gratitude to Jeff Rabb for making this important correction.