Saturday, March 13, 2010

Maybe a new form of narrative ...

... could be the investigative-slideshow-narrative.

Sue J. pointed this out -- it's from MSNBC.com's Bill Dedman, who is a major public records/investigative reporting kind of guy, who, instead of writing what would've had to have been a longish narrative, turned it into a slideshow and wrote the story in the form of long cutlines.

In a talk with Poynter, Dedman said he set out to answer the question, "Why are the mansions of one of America's richest women sitting vacant?" William Andrews Clark (pictured at right), amassed a fortune in money and property and left it to his family when he died. The only surviving direct descendant is a daughter -- the woman Dedman refers to in his question above.

I think the slideshow/narrative idea might lose a little in terms of transitions, and thus cohesiveness, but I think what Dedman did works and has a lot going for it as a narrative form. Obviously it would be better suited to some stories rather than others. Anyone have an idea for a story using this form?