Today, Reuters announced a partnership with Next Media Animation (NMA), the Taiwanese company known for its animated news coverage. Reuters will be distributing NMA’s News Direct videos, which cover breaking news and feature stories in 3D animation. The videos offer popular visual coverage of news stories when video footage is not immediately available, and they serve as a medium to explain more technical and conceptual stories. NMA is also responsible for those satirical news animations that have covered everything from TSA security and WikiLeaks to Charlie Sheen’s hotel room antics and the much-discussed Ukrainian Barbie.
The creation of these videos aims to provide a piece of multimedia storytelling that can be packaged with text and other video footage. With the exception of Japan and Taiwan, Reuters will be responsible for worldwide distribution. The videos can be edited and organizations can create their own audio track in order tailor the content for “editorial style or regional audience,” said the News Direct website. The company also takes commissions for custom animations.
This partnership reflects the demands of producing content in the digital world. Journalists are increasingly required to be multimedia savvy, and incorporating animation adds another layer to the story. According to News Direct, “The limitless possibilities of animation give a whole new perspective to how news is told, one that could never be achieved with a camera or plain graphics.” Even though the animations are video content, they are in many ways a separate medium with distinct advantages when it comes to conveying information.