greenlandmeltingClimate change is an ongoing issue with several serious implications. The New York Time’s package Greenland is Melting, is a fantastic example of a news organization providing a comprehensive explanation of a complex topic through narrative, interactive graphics and video. The package is centered on a research team’s journey to Greenland. Led by Laurence C. Smith, the head of the geography department at the University of California, the purpose of the expedition was to gather empirical measurements in the field to determine if satellite images and theoretical models accurately measured rising sea levels.  

As the reader scrolls through the article, an immersive, interactive map of Greenland emerges. As the reader scrolls, the map zooms in and one pocket of water after another becomes visible in the landscape. The map finally arrives at the exact point where scientists set up camp. The sense of place this provides readers offers a unique context through which to understand the story.

Drone footage adds another layer of depth. While the narrative describes how rivers formed through the melting ice, the video provides a bird’s eye view of the water, which is only possible with a drone. This reinforces the narrative and provides a visual of the fast-paced movement of the rivers as they cut through the ice. Seeing the pace of the river also helps illuminate the everyday challenge researchers faced when trying to collect accurate measurements.

Ultimately, the package succeeds because it takes a complex issue and breaks the narrative into chunks through the use of interactive graphics and drone footage. This allows the reader to unpack the information while gaining a deeper appreciation and understanding of the dangers of climate change.


This entry was posted on Friday, December 4th, 2015 at 9:32 am and is filed under PACKAGES. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.