I was on a panel yesterday on multimedia journalism at the Columbia Journalism School’s student center. Erin Polgreen discussed her soon-to-launch tablet magazine of illustrated journalism, Symbolia, and cartoonist Kat Fajardo and I shared what we’d learned as collaborators.
I’m especially proud of my experience working with Symbolia. I had my first opportunity to pair with an illustrator, and I learned some interesting lessons about the tricky nature of interactive journalism — there’s no knowing how your audience will consume your story until you hand it over to them. In the case of Kat and my story, “The Secret Species of the Congo,” I initially intended for it to come across almost purely through audio that user clicked his way through. It turned out people didn’t have the patience to go through so much audio, so I had to adjust the piece to include more text and shorter sound clips.
The first issue of Symbolia will come out late November or early December. The debut issue is free, and it will operate on a subscription basis after that.
Photo: Beth Kopine Canipe