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The Washington Post experiments with new mediums of storytelling


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Politics, in both America and Britain, become saturated with enticing slogans and marketing tactics, especially before any election.

It is arguable that all of this almost blurs into one – we don’t know what we’re reading anymore, and, overused methods, such as the employment of statistics, fail to shock or spark any particular interest for many members of the general public.

Under the premise that ‘When you’re surrounded by something constantly, it stops surprising you’, Washington Post trialled different methods of storytelling: from songs, plays, graphic novels and board games to poems, to re-create the lost excitement surrounding the American Political Stage. 

Image taken from the Washington Post Magazine website

At the centre of Washington Post’s print issue was a song written by Ben Fold specifically for the Magazine, ‘Mister Peepers’, which revolves around Rod Rosenstein’s inner conflicts as deputy attorney general under Donald Trump. As part of his time in Office, he authored a memo which led Trump to dismiss FBI Director James Comey, and hired Mueller to investigate the supposed involvement of Russia during the Trump campaign as a subsequent response to Comey’s dismissal. According to Just, this has helped people to see the topic in a refreshing light – without a bombardment of mindless information.

Included in the article is a board game in which readers can ‘help’ Betsy DeVos survive her first 19 months in office as Trump’s Secretary of Education despite initial upset from the Democrats. The monopoly inspired game involves board pieces like: "You are greeted by protesters while visiting a D.C. middle school. MOVE BACK ONE SPACE." and "Vice President Pence provides the tie-breaking vote to confirm your nomination".

Screenshot taken from the Washington Post Magazine website

The magazine also featured a restaurant review by critic Sietsema, annotated with hand-written comments. These creative innovations spanned both the print issue and online, which stands as a reminder that the media’s method of bombardment with similar information can lead to public and political disinterest and contradictions.

The online edition of the magazine can be found here.

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