Ditch The Pen and Paper, Alternative Storytelling Is On The Rise

With the rise of digital apps like Facebook Live, Instagram Story and Snapchat, news outlets are being pushed to use their creativity when it comes to storytelling. It is no longer just nut graph style, hard news reporting, but rather, engaging video and snappy text that readers look for when scouting news.

Although traditional outlets like the New York Times are beginning to embrace this move to digital, sites that were created specifically to produce digital content are raising the bar pretty high.

When I think of alternative storytelling, the first company that comes to mind is Refinery29. Refinery is a website that covers a variety of subjects from news to entertainment to health. Their online articles are always elaborately illustrated and offer an engaging experience that’s more than just the plain facts.

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Besides their web content, Refinery29 has created an undeniable social presence. With prominent accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the company is a great example of how to successfully use multiple forms of technology to tell a story.

Facebook, along with Instagram, is where I find most of my Refinery29 stories. On Facebook specifically, the company incorporates written posts with Facebook Live reports on events and a slew of short videos on various topics. I think they do a really great job finding stories they want to tell and delivering them in a funny, attention grabbing way.

This video below is an example of this storytelling technique, where Refinery reports the creation of a new spa for babies…

They use the same technique here to deliver news about Nikes’ new Hijab commercial that received a mixture of reactions from the public…

Refinery29 is a relevant example of how a digital outlet has maximized on the technological advances our society has created to tell a story. The news is still being told, but only in a more engaging way.


Author: Brielle Farruggio

Journalism student at Boston University.

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