Monthly Archives: January 2011

Travel section

Intended for users interested in traveling or those currently planning a trip, this new section has been re-modeled not with travel information in mind, but more with a focus on traveling tips and advices. The section has been designed so that users can find destination specific information. We have enhanced the gateways for destinations with a scrolling menu, a collapsible list within the article page and image intensive content. the user can also one-click his destination directly on a global map, which leads to a regularly updated address directory where users can rate the proposed destination.

This post was submitted by Caroline St-Germain.

Hollywood Star Walk

The terrazzo stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame are among the most indelible images of Los Angeles. Over the years, however, the stories behind many of the more than 2,400 stars embedded in the sidewalks along Hollywood and Vine had faded.

In 2010, the 50th anniversary of the Walk of Fame’s creation, The Times opened its archives to create an interactive encyclopedia of many of Hollywood’s most influential players. The companion app integrates a Flash presentation that puts readers on the streets of Hollywood to view each star and its precise location with a database packed with additional historical data.

Through painstaking research and innovative design, the database allows readers to jump to points elsewhere in L.A. and beyond to learn more about significant locations in the lives of the stars; where they were born, went to school, worked, married, died and were buried. More than 2,000 images dating back to the turn of the 20th century were pulled from The Times’ photo archives.

After launch, a reader from Wisconsin wrote: “Thanks for all of the info about the virtual Walk of Fame. As a 60 plus movie buff, I applaud your efforts especially since I will probably never get to CA to see it in person. Getting through all this info could become a new part time job. I hope I will be able to get through the data before I am 90.”

In a twist on six degrees of separation, other stars on the walk are connected with descriptions of how they knew each other. Archival stories are a click away. Readers are invited to share their own memories and stories — as dozens of former “House Party” kids did when Art Linkletter died in May at the age of 97.

Entry Link:

This post was submitted by Tracy Boucher.

Vancouver 2010

The intense web activity surrounding Vancouver’s Winter Olympic Games prompted us to create a section devoted to it. Featuring live coverage of the competitions, athletes blogs, medal board, pictures, interactive maps, a twitter feed featuring the works of our our four reporters and two photographers present and an interactive map following the whereabouts of Canadian athlete Clara Hughes.

This post was submitted by Caroline St-Germain.

The birth of a song

Dozens of Quebec artists sang about their neck-of-the woods, thus creating some their most beautiful songs. Thanks to La Presse, we can add another one to the list.

It rather rare for a written medium to be the genesis of a song that now plays regularly on the radio, but this is exactly what happened last summer when La Presse, set out to celebrate the national holiday. A contest, along with a report spread over six months, readers were invited to contribute by submitting a song about their city, town,village or region.

Popular Québec singer and songwriter Vincent Vallières accepted to set the winning lyrics to song. By mid-april, already 700 submissions were received, a team of journalist then selected the top six. Vincent Valliières picked his favorite amongst them and recorded it in a La Presse funded studio session.

That was the sole prize of the contest, and the song, “le desert habité” was born and inspired the winner, François-David Prud’homme, to pursue a songwriting career.

La Presse readers were able to read about the creative process all along (the part of the story we are here submitting for your consideration). As well as the contest, there was a report on the local that inspired the song, which we included as PDF file to give you a general idea, but not as a contest entry since it was not written by a journalist.

Cyperpresse visitors were able to listen to the song via an interactive jukebox -which required colossal efforts from our staff- And through it, they were able to hear exerpts from all submissions.

(To hear the song: then click on the red stripe reading “AUDIO” in the middle column.

Six months latter, Vincent Vallières still continues to sing the song in his stage shows and the song also gets significant airplay on the radio. Readers were able to follow the entire process from A to Z. And the musical landscape in the province got a ltitle richer.

This post was submitted by Caroline St-Germain.

Les Patrouilleurs

Journalist Hugo Meunier and photographer Patrick Sanfaçon patrol the city streets in a vehicle converted into a mobile office. Providing audio/video and photo content to Cyberpresse, these roaming reporters cover the general news beat and breaking news event in the province. Their mobility allow them to cover events as they happen.

Example: Coverage of a Shooting in Old Montreal

Example: Landslide in St-Jude

This post was submitted by Caroline St-Germain.

Good Friday Tornado

This is an interactive information graphic on a tornado that swept through Rutherford County, TN on Good Friday, April 9, 2009. Online and print versions of the graphic were published by the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal on April 11, 2010, in a one-year retrospective package:

The entire project was a group effort by faculty and students of the MTSU School of Journalism. The interactive graphic was researched, reported and designed by assistant professor Philip Loubere, who produced all the graphics as well. The coding was done by student Floris Moriceau. Soundslides, audio files and text stories were produced by students from assistant professor Leon Alligood’s and associate professor Jennifer Woodard’s team-taught reporting class, who interviewed survivors of the tornado.

The graphic is created using Javascript and JQuery without any Flash elements, and is fully HTML5 compliant, so it will work on any device or platform without the need for proprietary plugins.

Entry Link:

This post was submitted by ploubere.

Fortress Rosecrans

This is an interactive graphic on Fortress Rosecrans, a civil war site in Murfreesboro, TN. It was produced by the MTSU School of Journalism as a public service for the National Park Service, who link to it from their site:

The graphic was designed and graphics produced by MTSU assistant professor Philip Loubere, and the coding was done by Floris Moriceau. Both Philip and Floris did research and reporting; Philip wrote text.

The graphic was created using Javascript and JQuery without any Flash elements, and is fully HTML5 compliant, so it will work on any device or platform without the need for proprietary plugins.

Entry Link:

This post was submitted by ploubere.

The Hero Complex

This is a golden age for stories of the fantastic — science fiction, fantasy, super heroes, etc. — with greater respect for comics and graphic novels and huge box office numbers for special-effects films. There’s an intense appetite by readers for news and insight into this burgeoning scene but typically mainstream journalists don’t have the insider “geek” knowledge to capture the diehard consumers. While the online community and fan press have the knowledge, they can’t report and write at a high level. The Hero Complex is the perfect meld of fan passion and serious journalism; it’s also a study in new media reportage that tests the limits of the term “blog.”

In 2010, the blog underwent an extensive redesign that made it a destination in its own right. With a landing page that looks unlike anything else on the Los Angeles Times, it draws thousands of users daily who read posts, view video and flip through exclusive images, all gathered on an easy-to-navigate home page. It highlights user comments, Twitter feeds, monthly quizzes and divides content by category.

The Hero Complex is being developed as a media brand, with standalone events such as the Hero Complex Film Festival. The design informs that growth and ambition as well.

Entry Link:

This post was submitted by Tracy Boucher.

The Los Angeles Times is a newsroom whose ambition has been unbowed by the seismic forces affecting our industry. We excelled at delivering big league packages on major breaking news: the oil spill in the Gulf, the earthquake in Haiti, and the conflicts in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We are still are among the handful of news outlets to have correspondents in these places, and up-to-the-minute coverage from each is a hallmark of our hand-coded home page.

Our investigative and enterprise work is stellar. In the past year we stuck up for foster children who were being let down by a callous bureaucracy and, sadly, tracked their deaths; we told about innocent victims of gang violence in a presentation that takes you there through photos and stories. We undoubtedly saved lives with our groundbreaking investigation of Toyota, with a companion interface that lets readers see if their vehicles are affected. Our entertainment coverage pushed into new areas that took advantage of our rich archives and unique access. Our local coverage was exceptional: Our coverage of Bell and its inflated salaries was groundbreaking, as were articles and companion database about L.A. Unified teachers. Sports dominated on its coverage of the NBA champion Lakers, with a photo gallery of celebrity fans a crowd favorite.

We produced several cool new bits of technological innovation, such as Crime L.A., which brings crimes statistics to the neighborhood level, and our panoramic photos, which delivered incredible images from news and entertainment events. Our Star Walk database lets readers stroll the virtual streets of Hollywood, with 2,400 biographies culled from the archives.

This multifaceted site boasts a design sensibility that delivers news respectfully, manages data effortlessly and lets readers navigate seamlessly. Whether article or blog, photo gallery or database, there is attention to style that makes the site inviting and deep. We ask that you consider it throughout the year as the best-designed site.

Entry Link:

This post was submitted by Tracy Boucher.