The Washington Post has jumped on the bandwagon of innovative journalism, creating a multimedia platform that tracks the promises made by US President Donald Trump. Journalists Glenn Kessler, Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Leslie Shapiro have spearheaded the project in a bid to track “more than 280 promises” that were made throughout his presidential campaign. The tracker has been used in an effort to keep Trump accountable for his campaign promises as there has been a history of Presidents not fulfilling what they say. The tracker features an individual tab for each promise that Trump has made along with an update of the situation, what the estimated time of completion is and what its current status is.
The internet has modernised significantly in the 21stcentury and the amount of information that is supplied to consumers has increased immensely. The barrage of content that users scroll through daily has led to a decline in our attention spans with a 2015 Microsoft Report revealing that “people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds” which is less than a goldfish. This has provoked journalists and media organisations to innovate their practices and to accommodate these shifts within society. The tracker allows consumers to be easily updated with the promises that Trump has broken and kept without having to read a series of articles about each individual promise.
The interactive medium is engaging for users and allows them to access information in a clear and concise matter. The article also allows users to filter the content that they are accessing with several tabs that narrow down promises into status and categories.
The Washington Post has also created a tracker for Former US President Barack Obama’s campaign promises which allows for a comparison to be made between the two presidents.
“Interactive journalism means new ways for journalists to tell stories and help audiences understand what is happening in the world.” (Kwong, R 2015). The decision to shift to a more interactive form of Journalism has seen an expansion in the medium, creating content that is more engaging to users. By altering the medium at which the content is being produced adds further meaning to what is being said, and can be a powerful tool in spreading a message. The trackers created by the Washington Post have created a platform that targets the needs of society, whilst also breaking the traditional norms of journalism. Kwong goes on to explain that “there are some situations and stories for which it is much more efficient and impactful to tell a story using interactivity than via a static piece of text or image”. Journalists are able to create a new way of storytelling and are able to draw upon the interactive medium to add to the information that they are publishing. In doing this, the journalist is still able to convey the message that they are trying to communicate whilst also creating engaging and thought provoking content.