Comics/Illustrated Journalism is exactly what it sounds like - journalism through the medium of sequential art.
I stumbled on this video of a 2012 Online News Association session yesterday called Blowing Up the Funny Pages: Why Comics Make for Powerful Journalism and got lost in a rabbit-hole of links relating to the illustrated journalism space.
Here’re some interesting bits from the video (summarized):
ON WHY EDITORS SHOULD USE ILLUSTRATED JOURNALISM:
Erin Polgreen (Founder, Symbolia Magazine):
- Illustrated stories are easily amplified on social networks, especially the really visual ones like Tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook.
- There is evidence from news organizations that use comics or infographics as a vehicle for a story that readers who’re looking at a comic engage with a site up to a minute more.
- Access: comics can illuminate places where recording devices aren’t allowed. Additionally, people who would otherwise be resistant to cameras (or unwilling to speak at all) react very positively to a sketchbook.
- Arguably, comics humanize people in a way that a text or photos alone cannot.
"It was the kind of interview that I don’t think I would ever have been able to do with this kind of emotional depth if I were working in another medium."
It allows for interesting kinds of collaboration. People can pull out panels, repurpose them, turn them into audio etc.
The feedback I’ve gotten is that for people who feel as if they’re being barraged by information on the internet, a comic is a relief. It’s an exhale. It makes people stop and slow down, and they read it all the way through.
WHICH STORIES WORK WELL AS COMICS?
Stories that could benefit from a character-driven approach. When you need to put a human face to something.
I think stories about money, science and numbers lend themselves well to this medium. These are topics that can be very dry, and illustrations are a way to make them accessible.
For Symbolia, we have an editorial policy that all stories need to have a sense of place and narrative. There needs to be a central character or narrative being explored.
Relevant: Dan Archer’s fantastic comic, What is Comics Journalism?