Journalism Platform Reports Only One Crisis at a Time
Coda Story cuts through the journalistic noise, focusing on only one issue or crisis as it happens
Landing on the front page of any news website these days can only exacerbate the common feeling that the world is dissolving into chaos. It’s one crisis after another, and as one particularly horrible one comes to the forefront, it’s always at the expense of other ongoing issues that fade to the background despite the fact that they still exist. It’s this feeling of brutal ADD that an innovative news platform called Coda, with staff writers from the Guardian, Forbes and the New Yorker, hopes to address.
Coda’s catchy slogan, “#stayonthestory,” is short for its plans to adopt some lean and mean journalism—focusing on only one issue or crisis at a time.
“The distinctiveness of Coda Story’s journalism is rooted in our approach to ‘staying on the story,’ a fusion of editorial and design allowing our audience to draw context and connections between storylines found nowhere else. We are not focused on breaking news,” said co-founder Ilan Greenberg.
Rather, because we are concerned with sustained reporting, our storytelling is centered on intimate portraits, characters who are followed over time, and attention to the wider context of our topic.
One of the unique design characteristics boasted by the website’s prototype, which was developed by Method, is a special timeline that also addresses common themes between certain events in a story. The timeline remains partially visible even when you want to zero in on a certain step in the story so that you can “trace processes and connect the dots,” as the founders put it. As one article is finished, Coda queues up another.
As an (albeit lean) new news organization producing original content, how will a website like Coda Story monetize?
According to an interview with FastCo Design, it will be a mix of philanthropic grants and licensing fees—allowing companies to rent out space on its website to push their own messages. Since native advertising has come under much criticism in journalism, it will be interesting to see how the site separates paid-for content from core editorial.
The site, the concept for which has already won a Global Editors’ Network Award, is due to launch in the fall.