Media Machines, an Asteroid Launcher and What Makes a Movie the Greatest of All Time?
Ten links from the team at Storythings
I’m stepping in for Hugh today to bring you some of our favourite stories of the week.
I hope you enjoy the links and have the best weekend ahead.
With a Thud (14 min read)
Asteroid Launcher (simulator)
Toolkits research report: Succeeding with subscriptions (2 min read; report)
What Makes a Movie the Greatest of All Time? (15 min read)
12 Inspiring Graphic Design Trends for 2023 (14 min read)
Viewfinder, the Trailer (1 min watch)
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With a Thud
This article in The Fence asks investigative journalists – John Lanchester, Ian Urbina and Oliver Bullough – why some stories make an impact and others don’t. In it, you’ll find lots of good stuff about context, narrative, and what an audience wants.
(14 min read)
Building Resilient Organizations: Toward Joy and Durable Power in a Time of Crisis
Written by the national director of the Working Families Party – a progressive, grassroots movement in the US – this essay unpacks the problems that social justice institutions face, and, most compellingly, provides concrete solutions to them. It’s an incredibly thorough and inspiring read. “Rather than reacting to myriad symptoms, we must build resilient organizations that can weather internal conflict and external crises. Resilient organizations are structurally sound, ideologically coherent, strategically grounded, and emotionally mature.”
(30 min read)
A People’s History of 1960s Beirut? Zeina Maasri Illuminates a Different ‘Golden Age’
Zeina Maasri, an academic specialising in the cultural politics of the postcolonial Arab world, discusses Beirut's alternative revolutionary 'golden era' through the art of the time. “In a country where tribal differences block consensus on an agreed-upon history book, what role can visual culture play in understanding local history?”
(10 min read)
One Intersection, 72 Celebrities, 10,912 Clicks of the Shutter: The making of our ‘Reasons to Love New York’ cover
The editor of New York magazine discusses a recent cover shot by photographer Pelle Cass, who’s known for taking multiple-exposure compositions, which contains 72 famous faces. It’s a great peak behind the scenes of a logistical nightmare.
(4 min read)
Neal Agarwal, creator of other creative simulations like Deep Sea and Absurd Trolley Problems, has just launched this asteroid simulator. Through some clever coding based on scientific research papers, you can initiate an asteroid (location, size, and speed of your choosing) and trace its devastating impact, including calculations about decibel shock waves, fireballs and other fun stuff.
Toolkits research report: Succeeding with subscriptions
If you’re looking to convert and retain subscribers then this is for you. The new research report from business media company Toolkits provides some interesting data points on consumer attitudes towards digital subscriptions.
(2 min read; report)
What Makes a Movie the Greatest of All Time?
Every 10 years since 1952, the BFI’s Sight and Sound has conducted a poll with critics and directors in order to establish a definitive ranking of the best films in the world. Now in its eighth rendition, the 2022 results have just been released. Although fascinating, establishing a canon like this always leaves much to be desired – e.g. somehow not a single film from Latin America made it onto this year’s list. This interactive feature from the NYT, which traces the history of the poll, argues that the latest edition is perhaps shifting opinion in a more inclusive direction. “For a very long time, the same “serious movies” got taken seriously decade after decade. The new list, however, marks several radical shifts from the accepted wisdom — and maybe, just maybe, from the idea of a “canon” altogether.”
(15 min read)
Trolls, Propaganda and Fear Stoke Bukele's Media Machine in El Salvador
This special report from Reuters uncovers the powerful communications operation intent on manipulating El Salvador’s media landscape, led by the president Nayib Bukele, using paid influencers and bot farms. This investigation into Bukele’s media machine reveals a coherent playbook for would-be autocrats.
(18 min read)
12 Inspiring Graphic Design Trends for 2023
From “risograph reimagined” to “90s space psychedelia”, this piece looks ahead at the design trends to expect in the year to come.
(14 min read)
Viewfinder, the Trailer
Viewfinder is an exciting new first-person adventure game in which you can reshape reality by placing found objects into the world. Here’s a first look at this mind-bending puzzle game.
(1 min watch)
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Thanks for reading. We’ll see you all next week.
Hugh, Matt, Anjali and the whole team at Storythings.