Scroll down the page on “A Game of Shark and Minnow,” Jeff Himmelman’s New York Times Magazine story about a disputed region in the South China Sea, and you may notice something the story doesn’t ask you to do: Stop.
That was the whole idea, Times Associate Managing Editor Steven Duenes, who directs the Times’ graphics, says in a phone call with Poynter. The crew that worked the most on the presentation — Mike Bostock, Shan Carter, Xaquín G.V. and Nancy Donaldson — were trying to marry Himmelman’s story and Ashley Gilbertson’s photographs and videos in a way that felt “more like what the normal experience of the Web is: The users’ ability to scroll through a a series of images, to have the images do the explanatory work.”
You’re not stopping for three minutes to watch a video, Duenes said. Gilbertson’s animated clips — not GIFs, he said — aren’t videos “where you hit play and sit back and watch. What we’re hoping to do is keep people in an active mode. These are videos that you read and you scroll through.” Think of them as “moving stills,” Duenes said.