A Brief Guide to Web Documentaries

    The CIJ WebDocs Weekend is coming soon, so we've gathered together a list of some of the world's best web documentaries to inspire you. 

    The list below features projects from Canada, France, the UK, Denmark and Italy and shows how this new genre can help journalists tell their stories.

    In an age of declining traditional media and journalism moving online, it is becoming apparent that stories must be told in a way that stand out from the crowd. A web documentary can be a useful tool to help journalists to do this.
     
    A webdoc is a documentary made especially for online viewing, which often tells a story in a non-linear, interactive way. 
    The CIJ is organising the first ever training event for journalists and anyone interested in learning more about the genre. WebDocs Weekend takes place on 15-16 March at City University London
     
    And here are some of the world's best interactive documentaries to inspire you. 
     
    Canada and France are leading the way in the world of web documentaries. 
     
    The National Film Board of Canada spends a substantial part of its multi-million dollar budget on interactive documentaries and has produced some of the world's best. 
     
    Fort McMoney by David Dufresne is a game documentary that engages players with the petroleum industry. 
     
    Bear 71 by Leanne Allison and Jeremy Mendes is an iconic web documentary that explores the uneasy way wildlife coexists with humans. 
     
    HIGHRISE by Katerina Cizek is a multi-media, collaborative documentary about the human experience in vertical suburbs around the world.
     
    Kat will be taking part in the Webdocs Weekend on 15 March (via Skype) and we will be showing her webdoc Out of my Window as a live screening. 
     
    France is another world leader in web documentaries and produces a great number of journalistic and current affairs lead projects. 
     
    The Arab World in Revolutions is a web documentary for a French/German broadcaster Arte. It aims to capture the change in Arab countries at a unique moment in history and give the Arab people a voice. This is the first time that ARTE has been involved in a long-term cross-media project, for which all ARTE programme units contribute to a common effort to create an innovative platform with different linear and non-linear media outputs.
     
    Gaza/Sderot is another project for Arte. It reports on life as experienced by men, women and children in Gaza (Palestine) and Sderot (Israel); it looks at their lives and their survival on a daily basis. Under difficult living conditions and the threat of air attacks and bombings, people do keep on working, loving and dreaming. Life in spite of everything.
     
    Journey to the End of Coal is a web documentary by Samuel Bollendorff and Abel Segretin (Honkytonk Films). Based on the "choose your own adventure" principle, the interactive documentary tells the story of millions of Chinese coal miners who are risking their lives to satisfy their country’s appetite for economic growth.
     
    Samuel Bollendorff will be speaking at the Webdocs Weekend on 15 March. 
     
    Other countries are catching up with the trend. 
     
    Firestorm, an interactive documentary made for the launch of the Guardian Australia website. It was one of the first journalistic WebDocs made in the UK. 
     
    Francesca Panetta will be speaking about the project at the WebDocs Weekend on 15 March. 
     
    The Afghan Diaries is an interactive documentary about the Danish involvement in the war in Afghanistan, produced by Bombay Flying Club. 
     
    One of Italy's first ever WebDocs was produced by Matteo Scanni. The Iron Curtain Diaries looks into what changed on both side of the former Iron Curtain 20 years after the fall of the wall. 
     
    Matteo Scanni will be also speaking at the WebDocs Weekend on 15 March.