Interactive Journalism on the High Seas

The Future Me Hearties, The Future!

Two interesting responses to covering the story of ocean going illegality, have arrived in port recently. The first is Pirate Fishing from Al Jazeera that puts the player in the role of an investigative researcher and journalist probing the million dollar illegal fishing trade in West Africa. The interactive experience is based on the RTS nominated two-part documentary by journalist Juliana Ruhfus, who describes the product as follows.

“We’re basically gamifying current affairs. Investigative journalism can be seen as quite high-brow, whereas ‘gamification’ can open it up to a new generation of digital-savvy journalists. It’s important for us to push the boundaries and explore new ways to reach audiences.”

Last Hijack is an interactive experience which sets out to, “uncover the complex realities behind piracy by juxtaposing the western and the Somali points of view. Combining unique live-action video shot on location and animated illustrations, the interactive experience gives the user the opportunity to navigate the real stories of real people. The story builds up to eyewitness accounts of an actual hijack, as recounted by the Somalian hijacker Mohammed Nur and a British captain Colin Darch”.

Created by the highly imaginative and talented, Submarine team, The Last Hijack won this year’s Prix Europa in the ‘Best European Online’ category, with the judges commenting that, “this year’s winning entry is a project with particularly high production values - strong journalism (and) rare access to a character with first hand experience of an incredible story”.

The gamification of current affairs is something that can appear counter intuitive, but it’s a theme that BBC News Labs Radar are interested in, so watch out for more coverage of this area coming soon.


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