Case Study 3: Design as Consistency Across Platforms, and Understanding Journalism as a System

Rare is the news organization today with a single platform. Even if it started out as a newspaper, magazine, radio station, or TV channel, each news outlet now has to contend with how to engage with its readers, listeners, or viewers across a growing number of platforms. That might mean Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat, or one of hundreds of new kinds of apps. People might be on their phones, tablets, or computers. They might be in a car, out for a run, on the subway, eating lunch, or half asleep in bed. This all entails designing a multitude of possible experiences around the same piece of news, and considering a range of different contexts for consumption. News organizations must also consider what the reader, viewer, or listener is going to do with any given piece of news, besides just reading, viewing, or listening to it. In short, every piece of news delivered is embedded in a complex system of experience and possible action. In December 2013, NPR added a new position to help address all this: creative director.

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