This month’s Columbia Journalism Review highlights Illustrated Press, a Chicago-based outfit that uses comics to bring stories to life. Their form of animated journalism is an area to watch, combining non fiction reporting with sequential art.
According to CJR, other pioneers such as The Cartoon Picayune and Symbolia continue to push the format in part due to the ease of publishing online and success of visual content on social media.
The format makes stories more approachable, especially with complex or emotionally charged subjects.
Darryl Holiday says, “Seeing it in the comics makes the issue more real than any text story ever could—it makes you more comfortable with engaging with the subject and consuming the material.”
Maya Schenwar, editor-in-chief of Truthout adds that animated journalism can be especially effective in making characters more relatable. “Seeing people’s faces—drawn faces—changes the way you interact with the subject matter. So it especially works well for us on issues where the main goal of our stories is to humanize.”