TT News Agency, an IPTC-member organization based in Sweden, has launched a new tool that will make it easy for news outlets to publish well-organized digital timelines in a vertical format.
TT:s Toolbox Timeline culls news items related to a particular subject or event onto a single Web page in chronological order. Each culled item has a headline, time stamp, photo or video, body text/news summary of the event, embedded content (such as tweets or video) and link to the original news item. The smaller news items compiled in succession tell the bigger-picture story in a logical and easy-to-digest format, while detailing its development.
Nicklas Larson, digital business developer for TT, says the advantages of TT:s Toolbox Timeline include its simplicity and vertical scroll, which is more suitable for mobile devices than a traditional horizontal format. The tool is also flexible and can be used for lists – not only time/date stories.
“The TT Toolbox in general and timeline tool in particular is a great example of how journalists and developers have been working together to create an easy-to-use tool for digital storytelling,” said Larson. “TT uses the tool in editorial work every day, and now we want other digital publishers to take advantage of what we have developed.”
TT:s Toolbox Timeline is currently being used by about 25 media clients. The tool is web-based and clients have access via their general log-in to TT’s site.
“Timeline of Vivalla Murder: This Has Happened,” produced by local Swedish newspaper Orebro, is one of the first working examples of TT:s Toolbox Timeline. It documented the unfolding story of a violent shooting and murder in Vivalla in July 2015, and its evolution to trial and related attempted murder in Markbacken in January 2016.
The timeline outlines the original murder news story, discovery of organized crime connections, police investigation and activity, suspects’ arrests, and video of the highly publicized trial – while providing an overall frame of reference and telling the tragedy in its entirety.
TT:s Toolbox Timeline is part of TT:s Toolbox suite, which also contains other programs for creating content, as well as interactive maps, quizzes, CSS, and more. The same infrastructure (such as log-in, hosting) is consistent for all TT:s Toolbox items.