This post was originally published on this site
“Harnessing the cool.” It’s the mission statement for the innovation squad, a small team here at Cronkite News that experiments with different ways to present the news. The goal is to test new ideas for the news industry by tapping into students’ own media skills and habits. The latest example: a project that lets users control how they experience a video news story.
The squad used Mindstamp, an interactive video software that is featured on Cronkite News’ website, to take viewers inside the annual Arizona State Fair and let them manage their own experience. Like reading R.L. Stine’s “Give Yourself Goosebumps” series or watching Netflix’s “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,” the project allowed users to choose what they want to see at the fair, ranging from food and games to rides, performers, vendors, and of course animals.
Screengrab of different routes users can take on Mindstamp
“It’s kind of like a little game,” innovation squad member Milan Andrade said. “You get to pick and choose how you want to watch your news or how you want to watch these stories.” After considering other interactive video software, the team landed on Mindstamp because of its easy-to-use dashboard, professional look, and newsroom-friendly cost. “It’s a different style,” said innovation squad co-leader Isaac Easley, a Cronkite faculty member who helps oversee and guide the team. “It’s more what you see on Instagram or TikTok [but] on a professional level.”
The State Fair project launched late last month and featured multiple Cronkite News reporters, videographers,