This note was distributed to The Globe newsroom today. We thought we'd share it with our readers, to put some faces and names to the journalists at work behind the scenes.
I'd like to take a quick minute to introduce you to the members of our newly formed Mobile & Interactive News team.
The names should be familiar to all of you, but hopefully this will help everyone get a sense of what we do, and why we do it.
Why a new team?
Over the last year or so, as mobile began to make up half of our digital readership, we've spent a lot of time thinking about how our stories appear on mobile phones and tablets, and developing tools that help the newsroom build the kind of packages that resonate with those readers. (You've no doubt seen examples of our list-based articles and long-form features.)
This work overlaps a lot with the bigger, bespoke multimedia projects that we do, and so it made sense to create one group that focuses on building high-quality multimedia and interactive stories for all platforms.
What we do, exactly?
We work with the newsroom to create great stories that fall into two rough categories:
1. Daily files that build off of the most important news of the moment, and attempt to offer depth and context in a mobile- or digital-first way. These could be lists, charts, and daily graphics, or non-traditional formats like quizzes, comparisons and explainers.
2. In-depth pieces that push the boundaries of digital storytelling through the use of design, data, video, photography and reader engagement, along with excellent writing and reporting. The latest examples of these projects are: Saving Cyla, Kim's Choice, and No Safe Use.
So, who's on the team?
Laura Blenkinsop looks after our large multimedia projects. Are you working on a long-term project, or have an idea for something that might lend itself to a big multimedia treatment? Do you have some data or documents that might be part of a big investigation? Drop Laura a note, or come by and chat.
Laura works with Chris Manza, who does the design and development for our major projects. These can take months to produce and edit, so the earlier we're brought in to the process the better. Don't worry if your idea is partially formed — we're happy to discuss anything and everything.
Mike Snider is in charge of how our daily news file appears on smartphones and tablets. He spends a lot of time working with journalists throughout the newsroom on stories with a quick turn around (anything from a few hours to a few days). Have an idea for a story that you think would appeal to our mobile audience? Want to experiment with a different approach to a daily assignment? Mike is your man.
Jeremy Agius works closely with Mike and others on the daily news desk. He's in charge of design and development of short- and medium-term projects. In his short time at The Globe, he's worked on projects as diverse as a Toronto transit comparison map, an interactive graphic that shows how your age affects who you vote for, and a worksheet on selling your home.
Last but not least, Alasdair McKie is the newsroom's ambassador with IT and Digital. He helps set the weekly priority for the team of developers that make changes to our website design and the GPS system. Have an idea for a cool new feature? Or notice a bug with how something works on our site? Get in touch with Alasdair.
On any given project, our team extends across the newsroom. We work closely with the graphics, design, video and photo desks as well as digital editors in every department.
And we're happy evangelists: if you'd like to understand more about why we do what we do, or are looking for training on how we do it, just let me know or come swing by — we're on the second floor of the newsroom, right in the middle. Usually we have candy available.