Why we did it this way
Finding Light in the Dark was the second attempt by Jana Pruden and myself at telling a longer form story on Instagram. You can read about The Crichton Farm, our first experiment, here.
Jana had interviewed Merico Tesolin in the past, but couldn't quite find a fit for his story on more traditional platforms. Instagram was an ideal place for us to share Jana's great reporting and Merico's emotional story.
This form of storytelling is becoming more integrated into the newsroom's workflow. Jana's copy was edited by The Globe's backdesk before being posted to Instagram and ran in the paper a few days after being published on the social platform.
Jana shot all of the photos for this series and The Crichton Farm on her iPhone. In doing so, she's shown that it is possible to capture emotion and tell captivating stories using little more than a phone. Given the success of this format, we are looking into assigning a photographer for future efforts.
This is a perfect example of an experiment leading to new forms of storytelling and change within the newsroom. At the same time, we gained valuable insights from our initial experiment and adapted our approach to improve user experience, reach and to better fit the needs and priorities of the newsroom.
Feedback continues to be overwhelmingly positive. This platform still holds incredible potential. We are reaching a new audience and making them aware of the type of high-quality journalism they can get from The Globe.
For those not on Instagram, I've embedded all 12 photos and their chapters in a feature template The Globe's site. You can read it here
Darkness, part 1 of 12, by @jana_pruden. There is darkness, and there is light. In daytime, the darkness is mostly around the edges, but at night, it is everywhere. Like being blindfolded, with only shapes and tone in the shadows. It’s December in Edmonton and the days are short. It is dark far more than it is light. Merico Tesolin’s apartment glows even from outside, the brightest spot on an evening street. There are overhead lights switched on and a green lamp glowing on the desk, a standing lamp casting light in the corner, beside his great-grandmother’s chair. A series of bulbs pushing the darkness out.