When Video Enriches Text, And Vice-Versa

25 June 2014

Laure Nouraout @LaureNouraout

How do you deal with video when you are a text-based newsroom? That is the question that one journalist, one designer and one developer from The Times asked themselves — and brillantly answered. During the Editors Lab Hackdays Final, the team presented a prototype called 'Moments', which made them the champions of Editors Lab Season Two.

They created a 'seamless truly multimedia experience' for the user: instead of having an entire video at the beginning of a story, they chose short clips, adjusted to the text and throughout the article. The idea was straightforward: 'Let’s put the copy first and enhance it with video', explains Eoin Tunstead, the team's designer.

See the front-end here and the back-end here.

As winners of the Editors Lab — BBC #newsHACK Dublin, The Times earned a spot at the GEN Summit in Barcelona to compete against the best teams from all around the world in a two-day hackathon on the theme 'Making the Most of Video'.

As video is not The Times' primary focus, the team members had to consider a solution that could be practically applied their newsroom specifically. As Josh Boswell mentions, 'You have to think out of the box to make a good hackathon project!'

You also need a clever developer: Andrew Rininsland was described as 'brilliant' by his colleagues. It was the first time he was working with web components and Yeoman Polymer Generator.

The Times 1

So what's next? Implementation! In the week following the summit, the team met with their managing editor, to discuss the next steps to get 'Moments' up and running on The Times' website. Furthermore, as it is open-source, it can be adapted for other CMS (see the GitHub Project). We are looking forward to seeing 'Moments' go live. Look out for updates from GEN about this and other Editors Lab projects.

See also: