Chris Essig

Walkthroughs, tips and tricks from a data journalist in eastern Iowa

Lee’s first multimedia supplement

with 2 comments

Last Friday was the first anniversary of Rod Blagojevich’s historic ousting from the Illinois’ governor’s seat. Like many state newspapers, Lee Enterprises unveiled a story on Blagojevich’s legacy last week that dealt with his lingering presence in the Capitol. We included a timeline of Blagojevich’s life with the story, and I suggested we make it interactive. My bureau chief liked the idea and we used a site called to make an interactive timeline. It was easy as pie to create, and two newspapers linked to it inside the Blagojevich legacy story. They were the Quad-City Times and the Journal Gazette Times-Courier.

As far as I’m aware, this was the first multimedia supplement that the Lee Enterprise Springfield bureau has created.

Take a look:

And the link.

It’s simple but effective. And personally I would rather look at an interactive timeline than a simple list of events. That was the alternative, of course.

Hopefully this is a sign of things to come. I would love to help bump up the level of multimedia content that comes out of the Springfield bureau. Of course, writing will be the focus all session. But every once in a while, multimedia supplements–like timelines, graphs and maps–really help make the story (or sidebar) pop. I think this Blagojevich timeline is a good example of this.

Written by csessig

January 30, 2010 at 9:55 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Look at Timetoast too — I’ve used it to create some timelines for the Post-Dispatch before we created our own application. I like the interface. There are five Timetoast timelines with my Tuskegee Airmen project.

    Timelines rock. (So do maps.) Nice job.

    Erica Smith

    February 6, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    • Thanks for sharing the links! That is really cool. I used to use Dipity ( but they are charging if you make more than five timelines, I believe. Bummer.


      February 6, 2010 at 5:04 pm

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