The news can be overwhelming. The sad truth is that there are often multiple, complex, global crises occurring at any one time and it is difficult to keep up with the latest developments, let alone form a clear understanding of an important story as a whole. Seeking to rectify this, Coda Story is a curated news platform dedicated to providing ongoing crisis reporting in a new, in-depth format. It has been created, in collaboration with design firm Method, to augment the reader’s ability to comprehend today’s most important global issues, one at a time.
Coda Story was founded by a group of experienced journalists from institutions such as the New York Times and the BBC. They developed the platform to enable a new editorial experience — one which relinquishes breaking news in favor of dedicated, thorough reporting. Coda choose one ongoing global crisis and stay on the story, even after the spotlight from other publications has moved elsewhere.
When readers access Coda’s single-issue web platform they will come across an individual crisis, which will remain the focus of the site for up to a year: the site will continually host all relevant articles written by Coda contributors. During development, the team have been using the ongoing conflict in the Ukraine as the testbed for the platform. On the homepage, stories are organized not only by chronology but by ‘currents’ — thematic threads that connect events, developments and corresponding reportage. It is this layout that makes the platform groundbreaking, since it enables readers to develop a better understanding of the story and make sense of the causes, effects and continuing issues.
The platform is still in development: the team need to adjust Coda’s timeline streams so they are functional on smaller smartphone screens and also consider funding options — since the site rids itself of the clickbait friendly ‘news’ that drives today’s online publishing. Nevertheless, they hope to launch the site within the next year.
We have seen publishing endeavours such as PaperLater and Niiu which tailor-make newspapers for individual consumer’s desires, but these projects primarily reflect what the reader wants to see — which is unlikely to include complex, troubling disasters. Could other publishers learn from clarity of Coda’s project?