Many media outlets seem to be investing in dressing up their online content.
When I check out the links that get most frequently Tweeted or sent my way, I typically see in-depth articles that have been jazzed up for the web. Publishers now use full-screen headline images, embedded links and graphics, and just about every other trick in the book to make web stories feel different.
Here are two examples from this past week … and one article about the band Weezer:
Still paying for the Civil War (5/9/14, Wall Street Journal): Example #1 comes from an unexpected place: the Wall Street Journal.
But look at how a seemingly “old guard” company dolls up this story by Michael M. Phillips. Beyond the full-screen headline, a different photo appears after every few paragraphs. It makes for a unique — and pleasing — presentation.
The article itself is fascinating. Phillips looks into a rarely reported fact: how the U.S. government pays billions annually to military veterans, their spouses, and their children. He focuses on the head-turning story of Irene Triplett. Her father married so late in life to a woman so young that their daughter Irene is today 84 years old—and the last child of any Civil War veteran still on the VA benefits rolls.”
That’s right: Irene’s father fought in the Civil War. Because of that, Irene still receives $73.13 a month.
Phillips puts together a compelling story about how the cost of a given war extends far beyond the war itself. (more…)