Living Galapagos

Living Galapagos

Student-produced collection of multimedia stories explores the balance between man and nature in the Galapagos Islands. (UNC-Chapel Hill)

A UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism team explores the impact that humans have had on the formerly pristine archipelago with a delightfully conceived and well-designed website. By mousing around an interactive Treasure Island-style map platform, the user discovers a bounty of information about environmental and cultural issues — ranging from invasive species and illegal fishing, to surfing and the omnipresent tourism industry — that leave the Galápagos Islands at a tipping point.

Segments use a full palette of storytelling techniques, including narrated audio slideshows, 360º panoramas, video, and informational graphics to examine the battle for balance between man and nature. Many stories have supporting sidebars that contain factoids and photo galleries that reinforce the theme, both in content and rustic visual design. There’s even a behind-the-scenes “Making of…” video.

In spite of the depth and complexity of this multimedia site, the navigation design is quite elegant with a very robust interface, making the online experience enjoyable as well. For those who fret over the future of multimedia journalism, this student project shines a beacon for professional media outlets, who have much to learn from the standards set here.

Multimedia Project by UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism & Mass Communication:

Executive Producer: Pat Davison
Multimedia Coaches: Jason Arthurs, David Stephenson, Pailin Wedel
Design Coach: S. Scott Horner
Programming Coach: Donald Desloge