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To make information beautiful is to make it readable

Longform journalism is a valuable tool for journalists looking to present complex or lengthly stories in an easy to read manner | Photo by Jordan McQueen (CC BY 1.0)
Longform journalism is a valuable tool for journalists looking to present complex or lengthly stories in an easy to read manner | Photo by Jordan McQueen (CC BY 1.0)

Hervé Verloes had an idea. Through the company Hervé started, the Brussels-based Newsant, he won a grant that allowed him to pursue a report on an important story he wanted to share with the world. He had the funds to begin working on his story, but needed a way to make it appealing and readable for the masses. As a former Sourcefabric employee, Hervé knew that Sourcefabric had the resources and knowledge to make it happen. 

This, then, is how and why Sourcefabric made a first attempt at longform storytelling with Newscoop, inspired by a story of microfinance.

What is longform?

Longform is a style of storytelling that presents news and information in a manner that both takes the reader on a storytelling journey and makes full use of interactive and responsive web design. Longform gained traction through the release of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Snow Fall: The Avalanche At Tunnel Creek” by the New York Times.

The result

Hervé’s story, titled “Kivu: les dérives du microcrédit” (Kivu: The Outcomes of Microcredit), is currently available in French and Spanish. It’s about how micro-entrepreneurs defy difficult circumstances to launch businesses in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which has been undermined by years of war.


This project led to the creation of the longform theme for Newscoop, Storyteller, which will be available to the public soon. With this project, we attempted to answer the most obvious and most asked questions that we identified as being a minimum viable product for longform journalism. Namely: full screen images and slideshows, ambient sound, auto-playing videos, collages of text and images. While this theme is not yet publicly available, you can still take a look at Hervé's project to get a sense of the capabilities of the theme.

Making longform projects requires significant resources - not only for video, photography, maps and interactive graphics, but also for the software development team to bring everything together. The aim with this free and open source longform story theme was to give any organisation or journalists, no matter the depth of their pockets, the opportunity to present their stories on a cohesive presentation platform that not only enables the presentation of information in a sequential manner, but also one which encourages interaction and emotion through multimedia. Hervé’s project served as the building blocks for our development.

Read the whole case study to learn more about how the theme was developed and see how it could help your organisation.