The Importance of Responsive Storytelling on Every Screen

Written by Aleaha Reneé Smith, Michigan State University

Due to a shift in technological methods, many journalistic outlets have begun to search for ways of incorporating visuals within their daily posts and stories.

Washington Post Design Editor Matthew Callahan and Graphics Assignment Editor Danielle Rindler have pushed for cross-divisional collaboration within the post to do this.

The Washington Post’s visual journalists, Danielle Rindler (Left) and Matthew Callahan (Right) walk through digital experiences from the MLK assassination anniversary to the California wildfires to explain how visuals lead and construct the narrative.

“Everyone is a storyteller. Telling the story is everyone’s priority,” Rindler reminds us.

She and Callahan recognize that collaboration among their teams (graphics and design) has been extremely beneficial. They deem visuals as essential to the storytelling process as well as keeping an open mind.

Washington Post Graphics Assignment Editor Danielle Rindler (Left) and Design Editor Matthew Callahan (Right) explain the importance of visual storytelling.

This is some of the main advice from Callahan and Rindler:

  • Don’t do everything: Don’t overcrowd a story with visuals; time is your most valuable resource.
  • Speak up: if you have a story to tell… TELL IT! Help others understand what you are talking about.
  • Find allies: Collaboration is KEY. Don’t be afraid to branch out from your own division to look for help.
  • Don’t give up: Challenges will arise but treat it as a learning opportunity. You. Will. Get. Better.

For more on the sessions that are taking place at #SNDChicago, visit our Twitter (@snd) and Instagram (@societyfornewsdesign) for live updates throughout the event.


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