Quick and Easy Digital Timelines
The Knight News Innovation Lab at Northwestern offers free, interactive timeline tool
“Timelines add significant depth to a story, giving each event context and continuity,” said Zach Wise, an associate professor of journalism at Northwestern University who developed Timeline. “Rich media can really help pull the viewer in.”
“Our goal at the Knight Lab is to spur innovation in the way news is delivered, and putting a tool like this in the hands of content creators is a great way to engage online readers in multi-dimensional stories," said Michael A. Silver, executive director of the Knight Lab.
Timelines are particularly effective devices to tell stories that require deep background to understand, said Wise, who was previously an award-winning producer at The New York Times and contributed to a Pulitzer Prize-winning project while at the Las Vegas Sun. He offers these tips for creating compelling timelines:
- Keep it short, and write each event as a part of a larger narrative.
- Pick stories that have a strong chronological narrative.
- Include events that build up to major occurrences. Not just the major events.
Timeline was developed as a project of the Knight News Innovation Lab, which is a joint project between the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University.