Hits and misses

Kenyan media misses the chance to illustrate mobile theft

The Daily Nation’s "five -step chain of your stolen phone," article provoked 17 online comments that it was a great article and well researched. In today’s media environment, generating an online conversation is an important achievement for digital journalists but the graphic did not do justice to the story.

The stolen phone saga

The story explains that the thief will snatch the phone, pass it to a broker who later sells it to a dealer who, if the phone has tracking devices, will take it to an IT person, the ‘ technician,’ who strips  any evidence before the phone is sold to a buyer.  Most of the time the new owner is an average urban youth who is after a flashy lifestyle he or she cannot afford. 

The print version has a bare bones illustration of the process.

The online version of the five –step chain of your stolen phone

An infographic illustrating the five-step process would have made the reader better understand the phone theft cycle, provoking more reaction to the story.

An infographic of a policeman arresting a young man with an allegedly stolen phone would have provoked the visual part of the reader’s brain.

Sadly the story was dumped online, where it lost even the modest print graphic presentation. The formatting, which features boxes linking step one to five of the theft process, is lost. Stripping the boxes leaves plain text paragraphs. More interactivity with compelling visuals would have given the story more hits online. For instance in the How to study in six simple steps the studying process becomes more digestible.

Since the online version of print publications have unlimited space, the stolen phone story would have benefited from a similar treatment that infuses more interactive visuals into a text-driven story.

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