Reportagedrawing in digital representation

In order to explore the options for graphic journalism in the digital area, Berlin based illustrator Bo Soremsky created an interactive court report on the legal proceedings against the popular weathercaster Jörg Kachelmann.

Drawn reportages require an interesting topic which is told in an authentic and exciting way. Of course this can be achieved by using linear, conventional narrative methods, but in consideration of the fact that the general publication of images and especially the illustrated journalism is increasingly shifting into digital space, some new possibilities provide very interesting starting points. As part of a master’s thesis at FH Potsdam I explored a few of these possibilities in an experimentally way. My goal was to investigate possible future forms of drawn reportages. (>Download master thesis in German language)

Besides other experiments I created a court reportage which includes interactivity and a non-linear mode of presentation. The central picture of the project shows the courtroom – including the participants of the trail. Here, the reader can select the most important participants to gain access to their testimonies. If a particular figure is clicked, new drawings show up to illustrate the statements and arguments of that person. These testimonies are presented in a very subjective way and strongly contradict each other. The reportage doesn’t try to tell a genuine truth, it rather gives an overview of the opposing statements. At the end the reader must decide for himself, which testimony he wants to believe in. In this way the reportage gets a highly authentic and credible appearance which demands the reader’s engagement and involvement.

Though this experiment only touches on the possibilities of the virtual space, it shows the great potentials of digital narratives. More complex ways of interactive, non-linear storytelling and other techniques like incorporating multimedia content might provide completely new forms of illustrated reportages in the future.

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