How do you write a story thats already been written? That’s the one question that’s been on every journalist’s mind, during the 2018 Winter Olympics. The United States will win, and she will lose. How do we write a compelling, new story?
CNN tried to join in on the coverage through its third party: the Bleacher Report. They posted a story on Mikaela Shiffrin winning a gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Using a lazy lede and dull quotes, the story is a hard read. You can get all the information you need to know from 140 characters, so why would you read the Bleacher Report’s extra long piece, that lacks any form of multimedia?
In contrast, the New York Times took a swing at the same, classic story of someone winning a gold. In this case, the Times graphic design staff stepped up to take the story to the next level. They show Mikaela Shiffrin, among other skiers, in a real time graphic/gif, to highlight how the USA team member led throughout the race. The graphic isn’t simple: users can hover over different animated skiers to see the team and name of Shiffrin’s competition. Shiffrin herself has a time stamp of how fast she was going at any given spot during the race. The graphic was educational – and more than just a pretty addition.
So far, CNN has failed to take a more compelling approach to its Olympics coverage, especially considering their Shiffrin coverage. I do see hope, however, in their “Twitter timeline” set up on their home Sports page, where users can scroll through contributor’s tweets and get bits and pieces from on the ground in a fast fashion.
I hope to see CNN take more advantage of their on the ground reporters, and be more innovative with their reporting. Sometimes it’s as simple as embedding some toothy tweets in a wordy piece. There’s always an interesting way to tell a story.