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Great Idea submission

Thursday, August 11, 2016   (0 Comments)
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APME members have the greatest ideas. Check this one out.

Newspaper name and location:

The Seattle Times

Contact name and email address:

Lynn Jacobson,

Title of your Great Idea:

Life on the Bus

Short description of your Great Idea:

This year, The Seattle Times experimented with an intensive, multidisciplinary approach to storytelling that we dubbed a newsroom "hackathon." The idea was to coalesce a group of writers, photographers, data journalists, developers, graphic artists, editors, videographers and others around a single topic over a short period of time and see what new ways of presenting stories they might devise.

At first, we didn't even know what our topic would be. We just gathered newsroom volunteers in a couple of brainstorming sessions and agreed that the project would be ...

1. Organic (we would start without a certain end in mind)

2. Cross-departmental (pairing staffers from different corners of the newsroom)

3. Brief (no piece of the project should take more than a couple days)

4. Audience-focused, and inclusive of diverse voices

5. Designed for web first, with some elements likely seeing print as well

What took shape was a series of stories, videos, animations, quizzes and more that looked at Seattle-area bus riders — a population rapidly expanding as Seattle's economy booms.

We visualized ridership data; crowd-sourced stories on bus etiquette; videotaped drivers on the job; compiled a transit-themed playlist in collaboration with a local DJ; even shot a music video on a bus of a local band performing one of its signature songs, titled, perfectly, "Bus." We pushed our technical skills into new territory, utilizing gifs, audio recording and illustrated animations. And we chalked up hundreds of thousands of pageviews, hundreds of comments and hundreds of Facebook shares in the process.

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Associated Press Media Editors

APME is a professional network, a resource for helping editors and broadcasters improve their news coverage and newsroom operations.

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