Confession: I'm a news junkie. I like nothing better than to sink my teeth into a meaty, well-written article. You know, those pieces that make you feel like an expert after reading them. For a while, long-form journalism seemed to be a dying species, the victim of sound bites and 30-second video clips.
The advent of the iPad and e-readers are signs of recovery. The real saviors may be apps like Instapaper and Read it Later, which allow users to store lengthy stories to read at a convenient time.
Traditional news companies have been trying to mix media together, with so-so results. Their main challenge is that they're old, entrenched organizations struggling to pivot into a new direction. A truly effective, modern media service would have to be "born" on the Web from the start.
Enter The Atavist. A Wired magazine writer and editor, along with a programmer, set out to create a new kind of publication that combined the best of both worlds. The intellectual depth of a long article, with the immersion effect of rich media.
For more details, check out this New York Times story: Long form journalism and multimedia at The Atatavist.
The Atavist and its future competitors may reshape the art of reporting. Instead of just sitting down to type, the next generation of journalists will have to construct a "matrix" of text, photos, videos, infographics, and more to tell a story.
Until now, I thought the best organization to grasp this concept was PBS Frontline. Each episode is an hour-long examination of an important issue. Then that report is backed up by a dedicated web page with links to transcripts, video interviews, and other resources. Looks like The Atatvist is taking that to the next level.