Josh Stearns is a reporter for the Free Press and was able to talk with us about the advantages and game changing aspects of Storify. Storify is a new journalistic tool that can be used to compile many different multimedia elements into a single thread. It can be used as a live coverage tool, compiling tweets, news articles, videos and posts as they come in. Reporters can also use Storify to recap a news event, looking back and organizing all of its related media by date, category or author.
One of the most important aspects of Storify that Stearns was able to bring to my attention was the importance of archiving. Stearns curated a Storify piece on the fake New York Times Wikileaks Op-Ed that spread like wildfire around the web. While many of the tweets were deleted by users because of the op-ed was unknown to be fake, Stearns had captured and archived them on his Storify platform. After informing the Tweeters that he planned to publish, Stearns was able to release an in-depth and accurately cited story about the op-ed.
Stearns also explained to us the origins of Storify. Originally, Storify was created to be a written platform where reporters could easily embed multimedia posts. As it was introduced to the public, reporters began using it as a multimedia heavy platform, adding small bits of text in mainly for clarification. Storify reporters let their multimedia posts tell the stories, creating a brand new, credible form of journalistic storytelling.
Breaking News (a news organization who collects the top news stories from around the world) used Storify for a recap of the Spring 2012 storms in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and other southern states. The story relied almost entirely on multimedia posts (mainly pictures and Tweets) with little commentary from @breakingnews. View the story here.
Stories posted on Storify can sway from highly journalistic and breaking news, to more light-hearted stories. An example, that stays within the topic of my blog, is a piece compiled by the Detroit Free Press. The paper created a Storify about a local 5k known as The Color Run. With the tag line of the “happiest 5k on the planet” the FreeP collected Tweets, pictures, Instagrams and posts from runners on race day. The story was not organized chronologically, and did not need to be. It simply showed all of these participants experiences in one (colorful) platform.