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May 29 / King Kaufman

Examples of visually compelling content created with new writer tool

As we mentioned last week, all B/R writers now have the revamped publishing tool for standard articles, with similar improvements coming to the tool for slideshows soon. The new tool makes it much easier to find and place visual media elements into Bleacher Report stories.

Before the new features were released to everyone, they were in the hands of a smaller group of writers who acted as guinea pigs. They used the tool to test it out, reporting weaknesses to the developers, who also watched the back end for problems.

Michael Cahill, who runs the Breaking News Team and was involved in that testing, had the smart idea to highlight some of the best examples of those writers using visual media in compelling ways. Here’s a very, very brief sampling, just to give you a taste of what’s now so much easier to do, and how it looks in practice:

The Harsh Realities of Life in the NFL
Ty Schalter wrote a long examination of the career of free-agent linebacker Nic Harris, who has endured two major knee surgeries and two coaching changes that left him as the odd man out on two different teams. Schalter used this simple graphic to show visually how rare it is for a given high school player to get a Division I scholarship, and then in turn how rare it is even for that special player to be drafted and survive for any length of time in the NFL. That chart says, in a direct and effective way, what Schalter had just taken five paragraphs to explain in words.

I asked Schalter to describe exactly how he created that graphic, and his answer is here.

Why Jets QB Geno Smith Should Ride the Bench as a Rookie
Erik Frenz used tweets, photos, telestration, videos, a chart and a poll to make his case for patience by the Jets.

Twitter Reacts to Andrew Wiggins’ Committing to Kansas
Patrick Clarke obviously used a ton of tweets for this piece on the nation’s top basketball recruit choosing his college. He also pulled in photos, Instagram images and videos to tell the story of Wiggins’ decision and its background.

LeBron James Named 2013 NBA Most Valuable Player
This was a fairly simple story for Alex Kay to present. Photos and videos of LeBron carried it, along with a large image created and released by the Miami Heat to congratulate their star. Kay also included a poll, though James was so dominant this season that 83 percent of respondents answered that he deserved the award unanimously. Perhaps a more challenging question was in order, but that’s easy to say in hindsight. Note Kay’s choice to make one of the images smaller, not full-width, which gives the story some visual variety.