Aktuálně.cz

Aleppo Reopened

The story of Syria’s Aleppo in words,
numbers and charts

Challenge

Media rarely discuss the consequences of war. The last shot usually means the story is over. However, because of war conflicts, cities lose their economic and human capital and they find it very hard to continue where they left off before the war. One of such examples is the city of Aleppo, which once was a prosperous industrial city. We went to the site, collected a large amount of material, interviewed several locals, went through various statistics. How to present everything clearly and in a structured way?

Solution

We wanted to tell the story of Aleppo as comprehensibly as possible. That’s why we opted for scrollytelling and a mixture of formats, including infographics, videos and short texts. We worked with data as well as human stories. To illustrate the burdens of war, we told a story of a taxi driver, who used to earn money driving tourists. Because of the civil war, he lost his job and he also lost his son.

 

To spread the story further, we joined forces with Aktuálně.cz, a popular Czech online news platform. Creating a scrollytelling article is rather complex. Such formats are therefore still fairly rare in the Czech media environment.

Results

Numbers and stats show that readers have found the article as well as the narrative format really captivating. On the day of its publication, the story of Aleppo made it to top 5 most visited articles in the foreign news section of Aktuálně.cz. On top, the article managed to keep the readers exceptionally engaged: on average, they spent more than three minutes on the page. At the same time, the number of people who left the page immediately was just under 25%. More than 50% of the readers read the article to the very end and watched all the videos. This demonstrates how contemporary journalism could look like and how to attract people without being too superficial.

Read the full story of Aleppo here.

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