Illustrated Storytelling

Photos and videos have now become a large part of the news stories that we read. But what if no photos or visuals can be used due to the content of the story? Illustrated storytelling is a relatively new idea within the larger bubble of visual storytelling which provides visuals for the audience for stories that cannot be told through traditional visual storytelling tools. Read more about this new form of storytelling here. Do you think that this type of visual storytelling is as compelling or relevant as the traditional visual storytelling tools (photos, audio, video, etc.) that we usually see as the audience? Does illustrated storytelling add to or does it detract from the overall story and/or message that the journalist attempts to relate to the audience?


4 Responses to “Illustrated Storytelling”

  1. I was really impressed by this new type of storytelling. I was able to get an incredibly good idea of the issue that was described through Jennifer’s story. Illustrations where a very effective way of putting the read in the story when actual photo and video was not available. However, I don’t feel that this method can work for everyday or all news stories. The video was very long, artistic and personal, which is not appropriate for communicating just anything. Many people like to get their news in quick to-the-point ways, and this is often the best way for breaking news about very broad issues. That said, illustrative story-telling is perfect for showing the emotion behind a story and is probably more effective at getting people to relate to, or be emotionally invested in an important issue. I would really like to see more of these kinds of stories in the future.

  2. I’ve also noticed this new form of storytelling and find it to be extremely moving. Not just in this amazing piece that you shared with us, but also in other settings. It’s such a useful tool for keeping an audience engaged when a story is being told aloud such as during a TED talk or other oral presentation. These videos went viral recently and I feel that they give even more meaning to the words that are being spoken aloud:

    Now these are obviously opinion pieces, and not investigative journalism, so they can be given a lighter tone through animation. This may mean that illustrative storytelling might be less plausible over a wide range of issues such as science or foreign policy. And this would be a valid argument if we hadn’t already seen the proliferation of infographics across the web and seen their huge success. It is definitely interpreting the concept loosely, but I really think that graphics, even illustrated graphics, are a beautiful and very useful tool for storytelling.

  3. I’m a big fan of science-related Youtube channels, and a recent trend has been to use this type of storytelling to demonstrate complicated scientific principles. Some great examples can be fond on this Youtube channel here:

    If these videos were not extremely visual, it would be easy to get lost amongst all of the scientific jargon. I feel that the appeal of illustrated storytelling might depend on what type of learner you are. I am an extremely visual learner. Charts, images, and demonstrations are key if I want to really understand the material. As a result, I think this type of journalism is fantastic! To me it is much more appealing than printed words on paper. It’s easier to follow and more interesting. To someone who is a different type of learner, flashy images and sounds might just be distracting. But me, I’m all for it.

  4. I think that the “illustrated storytelling” technique Tompkins discusses in his article is just as compelling of a way to get a story across as any other form of media. I kind of thought about it like an informative cartoon while I was watching and the use of background music kept my attention. I also liked that the drawings were very minimalistic and loosely resembled courtroom drawings, which provides an awesome supplement to the story while not distracting the view from what the reporter is saying. I thought that the use of illustrated storytelling used in, “In Jennifer’s Room”, definitely added to the overall story being related, but in my mind the more substantial effect it has on the story is providing it with a very unique aspect that makes it stand out and captivate the viewer.

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