If you’re read the most recent Storyboard feature for the Nieman Reports magazine — and, if you haven’t, here it is — you may know that narrative is increasingly taking to the stage and streets as journalism goes live to connect in new ways with its audiences. Storyboard just joined that phenomenon ourselves when, last weekend, we presented our first live version of the popular Annotation Tuesday feature from our website.
The annotation was part of the program for a conference in Chicago on covering the 2016 presidential campaign, co-hosted by the Nieman Foundation and the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. If you weren’t at the event in Chicago or couldn’t watch the live feed on Periscope, we’ve got good news: the video version of the annotation is here.
In keeping with the conference theme, we went in search of a political story with strong narrative elements and quickly chose the landmark profile of former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley by Evan Osnos of The New Yorker. Osnos won the 2014 National Book Award in non-fiction for his book about the modernization of China, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China, and, yes, he reported the Daley profile from his former base in Beijing (he now writes for the magazine from Washington, D.C.). We selected this article in part because, aside from its sophisticated storytelling, it poses a dilemma faced by reporters in every genre: how do you write about someone that everyone thinks they already know?
To answer that question and many others, Osnos joined Nieman Fellow Dawn Turner Trice, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, for a discussion that touched upon everything from The New Yorker’s famed penchant for detail to what he regrets he didn’t include in the story. To read the profile before you watch the annotation, click here.