From the judges: These stories were so compelling that we forgot we were judging a contest. It is almost unfair to judge other entries against them. Storytelling led the photography and other design elements, as it should, and made complicated subjects accessible to all readers. This package is, as the entry states, distinctive in its restraint. In our view, that is game-changing.
How Emory University Researchers Improve Health and Advance Discovery
Writing > Series or Collection
Institution: Emory University
Title of entry: How Emory University Researchers Improve Health and Advance Discovery
About this entry: One of the things Emory has done in the past year, as part of a deliberate communications strategy, is to be more disciplined in its storytelling. The rich atmosphere of a major research university is intoxicating—a storyteller’s paradise, in fact—but one downside of all the reporting is that it can leave readers overwhelmed. Stories don’t stick when they are in competition with one another. Difficult as it was to do, and even counterintuitive in some ways, we nonetheless pulled back on our overall volume of stories and we established a rigorous tier system for how articles would be serialized in our News Center and on our homepage. We had been approaching too many stories as if they were tier one in nature, and we were giving them far too little breathing room before one would knock the other offstage.
With the idea of being more selective and yet more fully representative of the breadth of Emory research, we conceived of these four stories as tier-one offerings (by which we mean that they are rendered as what we call “immersive stories,” built using the Shorthand platform) that would highlight key aspects and constituencies in our research: a patient, a faculty member, a student, and what is arguably one of the most famous sites on the Emory campus, thanks to Ebola: the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit.