Viral Video: The Seattle Globalist nails transmedia journalism

The Northwest news magazine uses video storytelling to create visual flair and a timely insistence.
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The Northwest news magazine uses video storytelling to create visual flair and a timely insistence.

The Seattle Globalist's website is actually an online news magazine, not a dedicated site for viral videos. But in our current age of optimal distraction and minimal inconvenience, the Globalist no doubt feels it must also include videos, many of them boasting a worldly flair and a timely insistence.

The good news here is that the website, an elegant, extremely readable design touting the site’s scrappy day-to-day mission of highlighting “international connections in the Pacific Northwest,” presents these videos as content that enhances, deepens and visualizes a corner of a story, rather than the whole landscape. This makes for an engaging transmedia experience. Words and photos dominate, with the videos providing a brief glimpse through an open window.
For instance, a piece titled “On The Borders of War” introduces us to Globalist contributor Alisa Reznick, a recent UW graduate dividing her time between Seattle and Amman, Jordan, embarking on a series of reports about the Syrian conflict and what the future may hold for refugees coming into the state. A Seattle Globalist-produced video introduces us to one such refugee, and while watching I was struck not only by the promised depth of the upcoming series, but also by how this committed, shoestring website is working on the vanguard of new digital journalism.
Freelance writer Kamna Shastri illuminates the effects of a Sudanese ethnic conflict on local Sudanese residents, and supports her piece with a 10-minute video from Oxfam that takes us personally into the conflict.


The video is nestled into the body of print on the screen instead of headlining it, forcing the curious visitor to read before watching. The strategy may seem antithetical in this age of aggregate reporting and YouTube instant gratification, but it makes for a bold hybrid model of international journalism, cultivated right here in our backyard by the Globalist’s free-floating stable of young writers, world travelers and talented inquisitors.
Oh, and another thing. They pay for every post.


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About the Authors & Contributors

Rustin Thompson

Rustin Thompson

Rustin Thompson is a filmmaker, film critic and indie radio deejay. He enjoys strong coffee, red wine, IPAs and his wife and grown children. He is comfortable with the fact he will never be rich, but grows petulant if he thinks too much about it.