Bring your investigative reporting to life using animation and illustrations

  • Event: 2019 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Ranjani Chakraborty of Vox Media; Blake Nelson of NJ Advance Media; Hilke Schellmann of The Wall Street Journal
  • Date/Time: Friday, Mar. 8 at 3:30pm
  • Location: Cardiff
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

Got court transcripts of a particular riveting moment during a trial? Need readers to understand a wonky concept that’s hard to explain in writing? This panel will show you new ways animation and illustrations can bring important moments of your investigation that happened behind closed doors or inside a computer to life.

You will learn how investigative journalists and animators have used illustrations of courtrooms, nursing homes, and prison cells to “re-create” and animate crucial moments in an investigation that no one had access to. We will share how animation works and what best practices producers have developed in their newsrooms, whether or not they had access to fancy software. We will also tackle ethical pitfalls that investigative journalists have faced using animations and cover how to get started producing your own explainer video a la Vox.

Speaker Bios

  • Ranjani is a senior producer at Vox, where she makes videos focused on current affairs, race, gender, and culture.  Previously she was the first ever Vox-ProPublica video fellow, where she combined ProPublica’s investigative reporting with Vox’s creative approach to storytelling. She has worked as a video journalist for outlets including Al Jazeera America, National Geographic, and NBC News. She's a Northwestern University alum and is a Houston, Texas native. @ranjchak 

  • Blake is on the data and investigations team for The New Jersey Star-Ledger and, where he writes, draws and animates his reporting. He has covered the Missouri statehouse for The Associated Press, reported abroad for Public Radio International, filmed for The Wall Street Journal, hosted IRE's podcast and drawn for Poynter. @BCunninghamN 

  • Hilke Schellmann is an assistant professor of journalism at NYU and an Emmy-award winning reporter and Executive Producer at the Wall Street Journal. Using innovative multimedia tools, she focuses her reporting on unearthing systemic wrongdoing and its impact on vulnerable people. As an independent filmmaker, Schellmann shot, produced and directed the investigative documentary Outlawed in Pakistan which aired on PBS FRONTLINE.


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