CIJ Training Graduate Creates Charity Webdoc

    Glyn Thomas, digital communications officer at the World Development Movement (WDM) first came across webdocs at the CIJ Webdocs Workshop last January.  He immediately saw the potential interactive documentaries had for the WDM’s campaigns. He also realised they offered an excellent way to engage the NGOs supporters in the issues they were campaigning about, encouraging them to take action.

    To develop his skills futher he attended the CIJ Summer School 2013, which had Webdocs as one of its main strands.

    The result is an excellent web documentary - Dirty Money - that exposes the link between the UK financial system and coal mining in Indonesia and urges viewers to take action. Made using an off-the-shelf webdocs product, it was produced in-house and with a very small budget.

    Thomas explains:

    “We chose the webdoc for telling this story for a number of reasons. First of all because this is a complex story; linking banks and financial institutions in the UK with coal mining projects in Indonesia as well as the terrible impacts these projects are having on people living nearby.

    "An interactive format allowed us to include a range of content, including photos, text, voiceover, graphics and video, to help keep people as interested as possible.

    "We also wanted to include a range of interviews, more than were possible to include in the [traditional] video that we produced. But we also knew that to properly show the links between coal mining and the City of London, we really needed a mixture of different media to help make that clear, including infographics and text from a report that we produced at the same time.”

    The impact has been great: in the first day over 500 people viewed Dirty Money, spending an average of seven minutes looking at the content.

    Of the viewers, 10% took the campaign action that was integrated into the documentary and half of these went on to take follow-up action - was expressing interest in joining the charity.

    Thomas says:

    “I definitely think this is a great way of telling stories online - these days when people interact with websites they don't expect to consume content passively, but to actively choose what they look at and when and for how long.

    "Producing a webdoc is an ideal way of presenting the story you want to tell, giving people the chance to engage with the content in the way that they'd like to, picking the bits they're most interested in.”

    You can learn how to make interactive documentaries during CIJ’s upcoming Webdocs Weekend (15-16 March 2014, London).

    World Development Movement’s first web documentary Dirty Money.

    More information about webdocs and how they can help your newsroom or charity to tell stories and assist your campaign.

    Glyn’s webdoc was created using Klynt an off-the-shelf webdocs product, which will be one of the platforms taught at the Webdocs Weekend in March 2014.