The Empire Strikes Back

The Washington Post has been at the receiving end of the new media gurus and “print-is-dead-squads”. It is interesting, therefore, to see WP´s new effort boldly called Innovations in News – The latest creations from Slate and The Washington Post (sponsored by, who else, 3rd Generation Prius – which, I guess, is important).

It shows a couple of new ideas about storytelling in the new context. Personally I like How Would You Cut $591 Million From the D.C. Budget? the most. Probably because it is so transferable to any national context, including my own. But also because it tells the story of preparing budget in an interesting game and gives the user as much information as a lengthy article would, but lets people “make” the decisions themselves (even though far less engagingly as the Sim City game would). And it is not just the graphic, it is, in fact, also collaborative – when you do your budget version, it tells you how do you compare with others who made the same decisions.

The projects are well explained in their context and show additional usage of the same idea or technology. They are not Earth-shuttering, Internet-changing ideas, but are neat, usable and can be developed further. Which is refreshing.