People are getting the bulk of their news from the Web, and many traditional news outlets are nervous about the future of print journalism. But should they be as worried as they are?
The piece is a riveting account of two strangers overcoming the same tragedy – the first fatal shark attack in the San Diego area in a half-century. Instead of a typical online article that is brief and straight-to-the-point, this one is detailed and personal, and fairly lengthy. Usually, I can’t finish longer articles because even the most interesting topics can seem monotonous on a computer screen with long blocks of text, bolded subheadings, and static pictures.
Tom Friend’s “Back into the Water” held my attention, and it wasn’t only because of the unexpected story. Friend’s writing was excellent, but the ESPN designers did a great job laying out the piece. The title and heading resembled those found in magazines. Large pictures and short videos made the story even more personal, and simple elements such as detailed subheadings (not just the standard bolding and large font size used on most sites) helped break up the large blocks of text.
It’s one of the first online articles I’ve seen that seemed more like a print magazine piece. I’m sure I’ve missed others, but I hope this is the beginning of a new trend for journalism on the Web.